Before I start, I’d like to say that this post contains PAPER TOWNS SPOILERS. Well, duh, it’s a review, not a summary.
I went to watch Paper Towns alone after I passed my theory driving test the other day because I needed some alone time. And it did not disappoint. The ending gave me the fucking feels (I should really stop swearing). After the movie, I had to sit in the cinema for a while after everyone had left to gather my composure, because I was sure that if I didn’t, I would burst into pieces because the feels.
However, as many feels as the movie gave me, it wasn’t exactly perfect. There were quite a number of flaws that were nagging at the back of my mind throughout the movie.
I think the most obvious flaw is the casting for Ben and Radar’s characters. Why are they so much smaller and younger compared to Q? Weren’t they supposed to be the same age? The difference in size is very noticeable, especially in the scene where they’re trying to open the doors to the abandoned minimall. Q looked like a giant next to the both of them.
The other thing that was bugging me was that they didn’t really introduce Jase, Becca and Chuck. Those who have read the book would know them, but I was watching the movie with the perspective of someone who hasn’t yet read the book. I mean, we do get an idea of who Jase is, when he later tries to beat up Q for pranking him and Becca. But, we don’t know exactly how Becca looks like, except for that one time Q glanced at them in the hallway. Was that Becca? I don’t even know. Granted, Becca plays close to no part in this movie, so it doesn’t really matter, but still I’d like to know who we’re talking about when we talk about Becca being a horrible friend. Also, Chuck popped out of nowhere. Margo decided to shave his eyebrow off because he’s mean, but the audience doesn’t know how he looks like, who he is or what he’s done.
From the above viewpoint, I can understand when people say that the movie is random.
But, despite its flaws, it’s still a pretty awesome movie. I feel that to talk about how great the storyline is would seem weird here, because it’s the book that deserves the credit. So I’m going to do a movie-but-more-towards-the-book review about the plot. Paper Towns is not a typical chick flick where the popular girl falls for the underdog. Instead, it’s about a mysterious popular girl who isn’t what everyone thinks she is who is trying to find herself. And in the process of looking for her, Q finds himself too. Besides that, he also realizes that he doesn’t really love Margo, he just loves the idea of her. It’s also the same for Lacey, who is Margo’s best friend. Everyone sees her as hot and beautiful, but she desperately wants people to see what‘s inside of her, her intelligence.
Wait. I just had a fucking epiphany.
The entire movie is about how we shouldn’t believe that a person is what we imagine in our own heads! It’s all there: everyone’s idea of Margo, Ben’s idea of Lacey. To quote John Green: “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person”.
And I also love the fact that the main characters did not get together at the end, even after Q travelled so far to look for Margo. It just highlights the fact that this story is not about teenage love. It’s about so much more than that.
I rate it 4 paper towns. In the end, I have to say, I still prefer the novel.