Thoughts from Paper Towns

Because I’m currently in Australia, I was able to see Paper Towns on Tuesday 21st July, about 3 days before it gets released in most other places. Yay for Australia!

I wasn’t actually anticipating seeing this film in cinemas at all; apart from the fact that I am out and about backpacking in the Southern hemisphere, I was underwhelmed by The Fault in Our Stars. However, a cheap Tuesday cinema deal and some free time allowed me to pop in and take a peek – something I’m glad I did.

It’s worth noting that Paper Towns is a far more cinematic novel than TFIOS. It’s fun, and funny, and mysterious, and on top of all that it has a great little roadtrip.

[Warning: contains very mild spoilers. But given it’s an adaptation, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem…]

Some thoughts, which I aired on Twitter:

  • The score is EPIC. It’s less poppy than TFIOS, which I like – but it’s not completely cinematic. At one point I swore that the orchestral score merged with some kick-ass dubsteppy stuff. It was great. And when songs did appear – Falling by Haim and (what I believe to be) re:stacks by Bon Iver– they really, really worked.
  • It deals with themes like a sledgehammer. This is really my only criticism; it’s not exactly subtle. Wolff provides a voiceover throughout, but it’s his final summary of why he and Margo could never be that really kills it.
  • A lot of it is really how I pictured in when I read the novel way back when. There’s a lot that isn’t visually similar – the car for example – but I’m surprised by how accurately it did visualise the same. Not that it particularly matters. Just sayin….
  • Austin Abrams steals the show as Ben (he is a really, really convincing drunk) and Justice Smith is a very charming shy Radar. Casting really was spot on; Delevigne was pretty damn awesome too. And I think she nailed the accent. I think.

In case you can’t tell, I really enjoyed it. It’s very fun, and even though it’s really unsubtle, it’s a great little film. Go see it.

About Rhys

Rhys is a 19 year old with roots in the UK and Germany. Aside from reading and blogging, he also produces theatre, loves Kate Bush and hopes to pursue a career in publishing. His reviews have been widely quoted in books such as Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet, Catherine Bruton’s Pop!, James Treadwell’s Advent and Anarchy and he has presented at such events as Book Expo America.

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