Following the heart-felt film ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, Paper Towns is another coming-of-age story of Quentin (Nat Wolff) who has been in love with his enigmatic neighbour Margot (Cara Delevingne) since preschool. One night, Margot appoints him as her partner-in-crime for a series of pranks that she has decided to play on the friends that wronged her.
The morning after the best adventure of his life, Quentin soon discovers that Margo has disappeared. But since he is so smitten by her, and with a little help from his friends, he is able to pick up on the trail of clues she has left behind and he decides to pursue her.
Unsurprisingly, many coming-of-age stories are quite ironic in that they are geared to an audience with a thirst for enlightenment but they tend to be rather formulaic. Paper Towns has comfortably earned its place as just another repitition of one of these films. In this film, John Green (bestseller author of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’) tends to buffer up the story with these sentiments that are seemingly revolutionary on the surface, but in fact, have no place or holding in real life existence. Which is the reason why I find myself swaying on the fence. On the side facing the greener pastures, one can see how it certainly captures its audience, or at least our perceptions of our new Generation Y bloomers. After all, is not the entire goal of a film to entice, entertain and offer alternatives to ordinary lives? Paper Towns seems to maintain the wishful attitude that many young adults hang on to as they reach the peak of the next stage of their life; stepping into the inevitable and irresistible unknown, while attempting to use the same rusty tools that helped mechanise their arrival. A wherever-the-adventure-takes-me attitude pierces open the path of their journey. Basically, the air is sweet and they are just winging it. Except, of course, as they sew their pattern with fitful discretion, these teens have an invisible, yet abundant supply of money serving as the thread that holds their impractical journey together. On the other side of the fence, the brown grass rustles in the wind, begging to be watered. Although there are many developments to the plot, the story itself is rather hollow. Throughout the entire film, we follow the story of a lovestruck boy who takes it upon himself to trace every last step of a girl he barely knows, and who may not even want to be found. This may be an enlightening journey for someone going through the process, but watching the film does not produce the same effect. However, if you do manage to stay interested up until the end, you will see how hot air does manage to play its part in taking up space. I can not deny that the conclusion of the film may have made watching it worthwhile, in spite of its fluffy and predictable structure. However, I feel there are other things that would better suit anybody’s time. It is up to you to watch it and see what I mean.