Paper Towns Review

“YOU WILL GO TO THE PAPER TOWNS AND YOU WILL NEVER COME BACK”

by India Rome

Join Quentin and Margo on a journey of self-discovery, adventure and growing up…

I was apprehensive about seeing this film as I am not a big fan of John Green (sorry to 99% of readers who do like him) and I wasn’t at all convinced by the casting choices. However, I was proved completely and utterly wrong and after reading the book I knew this would be a big film for me this summer.

Quentin (known as Q) and Margo have known each other since childhood but have drifted apart as a result of high school and being part of different cliques. Margo is a popular, stereotypical American girl who seemingly has everything – the boyfriend, the friends, and the car. Quentin is more concerned about his studies and prides himself on never missing a day at school. What would bring the two back together you ask? One night changes everything (cliché I know) and both find their worlds changed for the better.

First of all, I really want to highlight how amazing I thought Cara Delevingne portrayed Margo. As she is a model, I wasn’t expecting much from her acting or accent wise. Delevingne played her part amazingly – just as I imagined her from the books – and her accent suited the part as well. (Nothing annoys me more when actors have really obvious fake accents) She perfectly captured the wild, mysterious essence of her character and although she doesn’t feature much in the film, she was, in my eyes, one of the best parts of it. The complexity of Margo in the books was definitely not lost in translation to the film.

Natt Wolff also surprised me as Quentin, and again he captured the characteristics of his character really well. I was apprehensive as I had only seen Wolff in minor roles – namely The Fault in our Stars (Issac) and Stuck in Love (Rusty) which made me think he would struggle to succeed in playing a lead role. Again, I was proven completely wrong, and I enjoyed watching his character develop from the naïve boy who agrees to go on a wild road trip with Margo out of blind adoration to the man who moves on to university realising “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

Lacey (Halston Sage), Ben (Austin Abrams), and Radar (Justice Smith) made the perfect trio to accompany Q on his quest to find Margo. They also added humour to what could have been a very serious film as the book is more doom and gloom.

The plot was very different to the book but I loved it all the same. As mentioned before, it tried to be more light and funny instead of serious and this worked really well. Some of the plot lines were changed – for example, the trio set off on the morning of their graduation to find Margot instead of before prom, which may seem insignificant but it was important to the book – which annoyed me however there must have been reasons for it. I really tried to view it as separate to the book but as you can see I made many comparisons with it as, having only read the book a few days previous, the plot was still fresh in my mind.

Some of the darker parts from the book were kept out the film, I found this impacted on it in a negative way as instead of it being a lifesaving mission, it was more of a journey to find Margo and for Q to know that his suspicions were right. The book talks more about the darker and more complex side of Margo and this makes the journey to find her more urgent whereas the film portrays it to be a fun road trip. I really related to her thoughts on paper towns and the paper people who inhabit them and I felt this didn’t come across very clearly in the film. However this is down to interpretation – at face value the film does what it says on the tin.

All in all I would definitely recommend you go see the film (and read the book too!) as Paper Towns definitely was one of my favourite films this summer. If you like romance, relatable characters and a happy(ish) ending – this film is for you!

Visit the Macrobert Arts Centre where this film is currently showing;

Fri 9 Oct – 8pm                                       Sat 10 Oct – 2pm and 5pm                               Sun 11 Oct – 5pm and 8pm

And why not check out what else is showing at: http://macrobertartscentre.org/

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