Paper Towns

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 116 Minutes

Director: Jake Schreier

Cast: Cara Delevingne, Nat Wolff, Austin Abrams, Halston Sage                  

Rating: ****

Paper Towns is a free spirited teen romcom, adapted from John Green’s YA novel and it has been captured magnificently on screen by director Jake Schreier, as he manages to capture the intensity and emotional connections of adolescence. Paper Towns thankfully avoids the clichéd teen theme and portrays a real message about love and growing up in this tender, mainstream coming-of-age film.

Paper Towns revolves around Quentin Jacobsen’s (Natt Wolff) search for the mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) who disappears after she takes him on a vengeful adventure. Quentin has been in love with Margo from the moment she moved across the street, but they drift apart as Q becomes a ‘stick in the mud’ and Margo becomes an adventurous enigma. But one night Margo climbs into his window summoning him for a campaign of revenge. After the best night of his life Q arrives back at school to discover that Margo has disappeared, but the mystery that is Margo, leaves a trail of clues for Q to find her. Q and his friends Radar (Justice Smith), Ben (Austin Abrahams), Angela (Jaz Sinclair) and Margo’s best friend Lacey (Halston Sage) begin their quest/road trip to find Margo and start discover that maybe she isn’t the mystery everyone thinks she is.

One of the great aspects of Paper Towns is the simple yet interesting storyline; it is easy to follow and enables each of the actors/actresses to shine. They are all relatable and real for the intended target audience. The leads, Wolff and Delevingne, come across as interesting and give great emotive and moral performances but it is the supporting cast who make the film entertaining, as Radar, Ben, Angela and Lacy are the ones who bring both the laugh out loud moments which are delivered perfectly.

Director Schreier takes this simple storyline and infuses it with many visually memorable scenes such as a striking and romantic sequence atop a Florida skyscraper. He has a great combination of 80’s architecture, shallow focus and electronic pop which creates great visuals on what could be considered a plain framed film.

Whilst I cannot majorly fault this film, the only negative is that it is intended for a specific teen audience, adults or those who may find a teen story a bit immature won’t be able to fully connect to the characters or the overall concept. Hopefully cinema goers who choose to see this film can overlook that and appreciate the film for its intended purpose.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it made me laugh out loud.  It had the right amount of emotional tones and the message of friendship, love and growing up combined with the mystery, meant that it avoided that clichéd teen theme young people are forced to enjoy. I urge you to see this film - it's great!

Written by Harley Gower