paper towns film review

Directed by: Jake Schreier
Starring: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Halston Sage, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Cara Buono

Director Jake Schreier has created a suitable interpretation of the young adult film, Paper Towns. The film is based on the novel by author John Green, who is also known for his creation of inspiring love story, The Fault in our Stars. The film is aimed at a more teenage/young adult audience and has not received much attention from older viewers.

The story centres on a young, nerdy high school boy Quentin (played by Nat Wolff) and his wild and daring next door neighbour Margo (played by Cara Delevingne). Despite being childhood partners in crime, Margo and Quentin’s friendship drifted apart once she became popular. One night unexpectedly, Margo sneaks into his room asking to borrow his car. She convinces Quentin to embark on a night of mischievous revenge on her friends and ex-boyfriend. Despite Quentin’s reluctance, he is persuaded by his heart and has the night of his life. Come the next day, Margo is nowhere to be found.  Quentin and his friends decide to set out to find her by following clues she has left behind so he can reveal to her how he really feels.

Paper Towns had an interesting trailer which encouraged me to see it. The film had a mysterious element to it which made it constantly intriguing and left me wondering what was going to happen next. It was carefree and fun, with a greater focus on adventure rather than sentiment. Overall, the film was about enjoying the most you can out of life especially when you are young and identifying loyal friends. It also sent a hidden message that young adults shouldn’t try to grow up too quickly and instead enjoy the time they are in. For 113 minutes, the film showed elements of drama, romance, mystery, and adventure.

There were moments in the dialogue that could have been expanded on further as it made some of the characters’ involvement confusing, especially in the beginning. The ending was not bad but a little flat which was a shame. Before this point, the movie was exciting and mysterious so it’s disappointing that it didn’t end on a high. The set design in some scenes could have been more creative and elaborate, as it did become repetitive returning to the same place. In this case, the director could have chosen a couple more sets to keep the scenery exciting. Costume design was appropriate for the style of the film and suited the scene and age of each character.

Nat Wolff played the role of Quentin accurately and really looked the part. He made his character believable. Cara Delevingne was expressive in her portrayal of Margo and had that laid back attitude which was appropriate for her character. These two actors together made the story plausible and captivating, but I cannot say the same about some of the supporting cast.

I do recommend people see the movie but as mentioned earlier, it does have a target audience of young adults. It won’t make you cry or burst into laughter, but it will put a smile on your face. The film has a little of everything in terms of genre and was quite enjoyable.