Thursday, 12 June 2014

All of the Stars-Ed Sheeran

I don't think I need to tell anyone what the Fault in Our Stars is at this point.

Just in case there is one person out there who's just sort of blinking confusedly right now, going "What?" here is one-very quick-overview of the Fault in Our Stars.

Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who are sarcastic, intelligent, funny, and happen to have cancer. They meet at a cancer support group and fall in love. That sounds like it could be the most clich├ęd, contrived thing ever. It completely isn't.

The book will make you laugh, cry, and shove it into the hands of complete strangers on the street, gasping "READ IT NOW" and possibly incurring restraining orders. But seriously, it's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. IT MUST BE READ.

"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book."-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

That's another great thing about the Fault in Our Stars, the fact it actually referenced how people would feel about the book inside the book. I don't know if that last sentence even made sense.

But. This isn't just talking about the book. This is talking about the movie.

Specifically, the movie soundtrack-all of which seems great.

But specifically, one song.

When I first listened to All of the Stars by Ed Sheeran, I was pretty sceptical. I'll admit it. I actually kind of sat there, with my eyes closed, in case the song was cheesy. I love Ed Sheeran but it felt like my entire brain was screwed up in apprehension, curled up against a corner of my skull dreading the song potentially being cheesy and ruining it and my whole mind was screaming NO CANNOT BEAR THAT.

I did not have to bear that.

"I saw a shooting star and I thought of you"-Ed Sheeran.

The second I heard that line, I opened my eyes. I sat up and stared at the computer screen.

"If you were here, I'd sing to you"-Ed Sheeran.

I was basically tearing up at this point. I was in that great moment when you know you're hearing a great song for the first time and you know you're going to play it over and over.

"And I know these scars will bleed
But both of our hearts believe
All of these stars will guide us home"-Ed Sheeran.

I literally sat there at this point and listened to the entire song. Then I played it again. And again.

Both my parents have read the Fault in Our Stars. So has my cousin. So have my friends. It's one of those books. So obviously I ran to my father, who is basically one of those people who knows all the great music and almost screamed at him that the second he finished the book, he had to listen to the song. He agreed that it was great. I should mention he has a pretty strong radar for anything that's not good music, and he used to be a musician partly, so this just certified my already solid opinion that this was One of the Greatest Songs To Listen To Ever.

The world is not a wish-granting factory-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars.

Part of the message of the Fault in Our Stars-for me, at least-is Hazel's realisation that she's not a grenade. (Makes sense if you've read the book and I'm trying not to spoil anyone who hasn't had that brilliant experience yet.) Or that even if she is, you can't unlove a grenade. She can't unlove Augustus and Augustus can't unlove her. And they wouldn't want to. Which is stated. But another of her realisations is that she can't refuse to live life, just because it might end for her. She can't just tread lightly because despite what happens-and I'm not going to say-it was still a privilege for her and Augustus to be together. To get that time. And she can remember it.

It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars.

She got to have that experience. And even if something ends, you don't forget it. It doesn't vanish, as long as someone is still there to remember it. That's what I took away from it. Even if something ends, it doesn't mean it's gone. It's just there in an entirely different way. If you still think of it, still care about it, it's still there.

And then there's the last line of the song.

I can see the stars from America.-Ed Sheeran.

And that last line pretty much sums it up for me. Even if you won't see the stars from Amsterdam again, you can still see them in America. (Read book=makes sense.) Even if you're not seeing them the same way, they're still there. And you can still see them.

I don't think I need to say I loved the song. I don't think I need to say this isn't the last time I'll mention the Fault in Our Stars. I don't think I need to say I can't wait for the movie and READ THE BOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.

But I do need to say, thanks Ed Sheeran for writing and performing this song. And thanks everyone in the film, for giving us the film.

And thanks John Green, for giving us the book.

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