So I watched Paper Towns…
I have to start this review by saying thank you to fellow blogger KE Garland for asking that I watch and review this movie. If not for her request, I probably would have missed out on this movie and on some of the most fun I’ve had in a cinema in my life. Walking into this movie, I was a little bit apprehensive because the trailer hadn’t really wow’ed me and the plot seemed a bit cliché but I’m so glad I followed through and watched this joy of a movie.
Okay, basic plot: Quentin is a shy, quiet high school teenager who’s running out the last few days of high school. Quentin’s had a crush on his neighbour Margo (Cara Delevingne) for almost eleven years. Margo is the most popular girl in school and clearly out of Quentin’s league but one night, she shows up at his bedroom window and enlists his help in a mission to get revenge on her cheating boyfriend and so-called friends. After this glorious night, Quentin hopes that his relationship with Margo will be able to reach new heights but unfortunately Margo disappears the next day. But not all hope is lost. Margo’s left behind breadcrumbs for Quentin to follow and so he embarks on a mission to find her and profess his love.
I LOVED this movie! It appealed to me in so many different ways that it’s difficult to condense all the good things I want to say about it into just one review but I’ll give it my best shot. Firstly, it’s one of the best love stories that I’ve ever seen on screen. It isn’t a traditional boy-meets-girl but rather a great example of the adventure that falling in love can be. I was raised on sitcoms and romcoms from the 90’s and my idea of the perfect date is going on an adventure around the city with a girl. Walking around, exploring the sights, breaking into places that we aren’t supposed to be.That element of danger and excitement percolating through every moment of the night is my definition of romance. I’ve never had one of those dates; but I’m hoping that one day I do. This movie felt like going on such a date. Obviously because Quentin and Margo actually do experience such an adventurous night but also because of the spirit and fun this movie has in every scene. You’re never sure where things are going to end up or what’s going to happen next and this makes the movie so exciting to watch.
The next thing I loved about this movie was its authenticity. I think we all have certain moments in our life planned out: our wedding days, kissing our crushes, landing our dream jobs. We have these preconceptions of what these moments will feel like. We all hope, and expect, that they’ll be these perfect moments-in-time, these pieces of dramatic emotion that almost have a movie quality to them. But the truth is that some of us are never going to experience these moments and, even if we do, they won’t be what we imagined. They’re ordinary – angels don’t come down from heaven, a symphony of music doesn’t suddenly erupt; they happen and we move on from them. This discrepancy between expectation and reality is a constant theme in this movie.
This brings me to my next point, the idea of the destination not being important but rather the journey. The characters in this movie get caught up in chasing these moments that they forget to enjoy the build-up to them. The character of Margo who is this renegade, this outlaw who refuses to conform to every little norm society has set out for her reminds everyone that they need to take time and smell the roses, they need to stop being obsessed with some future moment they think will bring them happiness and enjoy the present. This movie contains a multitude of complex, intricate themes that could have made it too heavy or overly serious but because the writing in this movie is of such a high quality, it balances these themes with the utmost of ease.
The acting in this movie is also such a delight. One of the main themes in this movie is friendship and the cast do such an amazing job bringing this to life. Everything feels authentic, from the acting, to the dialogue, to the overall script. There are so many things that I could relate to and I think that a lot of people are going to be able to relate to. Sure, this is a movie about teenagers and coming of age and love but I think the principles of this story can easily be applied to any age group. You’re always going to have to leave your comfort zone; to lose friends; to chase happiness and the insight this movie not only shows but also provides about life is incredibly profound. This movie not only entertained me but also spoke to me. There’s also so many moments of humour and fun throughout the story.
Overall, Paper Towns shocked me with how good it is. Brilliantly written, amazingly acted out and really well-crafted. Movies like this are why I love going to the cinema because of their power to connect with you and make you experience a thing through fiction that you aren’t prepared to feel through reality. Go watch this movie! 9/10
Oh and this movie is based on a book by John Green who also wrote The Fault In Our Stars and one of the actors from that movie has a little cameo in this one.