Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Paper Towns

A young man and his friends embark upon the road trip of their lives to find the missing girl next door.

This second John Green adaptation is a less tear jerking, more affecting teen drama than The Fault in Our Stars. The film describes a certain suburban disillusionment where everything and everyone in life seems phony and two dimensional. A condition to which some sensitive teenagers can be especially susceptible. If it's authenticity these young adults seek, they could have done far worse than this second movie. It's most interesting as a perspective on adolescence in which all the girls are more mature, nervy and perceptive than any of the boys; who have some catching up to do if they're to have a chance with any of them. Characters are introduced as flawed, ordinary young individuals who are touchingly vulnerable to the social pressures and sexual anxieties of contemporary teenage life. Plus, all of the film young actors get the opportunity to reveal more than one dimension of their own character. 

Some would say the real find here is Cara Delevingne who, with her subtly smoky voice makes the girl of Quentin's fantasies a singularly charismatic presence, all the more so due to her limited screen time. However Nat Wolff is the one to get the deserved promotion from strong supporting actor to leading man. He's the one presents in just about every scene. The one to hold the centre as a young man who isn't overly concerned about either standing out or fitting in and whose behaviour can often be as hesitant as it is impulsive. Indeed, despite the movie's puzzle-like structure Paper Towns steps in the common rituals of young adulthood, that is to say the well worn conventions of so much teen cinema. There are house parties, pop quizzes, locker-side confrontations and some talk about hot moms and sexually transmitted diseases. Large quantities of beer are consumed and parental supervision is pretty minimal.

Overall, by the end nearly all the story's question mysteries and dilemmas have been neatly answered and tied up, with just a dash of melancholy and a hint of maturity added to the mix as life moves on.


  1. I wasn't at all impressed by Cara Delevingue's debut onto the screen. That said, she didn't get a lot of screen time, so I'll give her a chance and still go and watch her upcoming films. Hope she manages to impress me!

    1. Yeah let's give her the benefit of the doubt!