Five Feet Apart is a sweet but heart-wrenching story about two teenagers who find love in the most unlikely, and unfortunate circumstance. Will and Stella both suffer from cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening illness which only grows more dangerous when patients are exposed to others carrying the disease. Despite being physically so bad for one another, the two end up falling in love, resulting in a series of romantic and heartbreaking events.
Rachel Sage Kunin utilises costuming in a way that expressed both of the young teens’ unique personalities, as well as their experiences with their illnesses. Stella, played by Hayley Lu Richardson, is a bubbly and positive young girl despite her diagnosis. Her costuming is often floral, colourful and very flowy, representing her carefree personality. Kunin combines this with a slightly dishevelled appearance; messy hair, poorly fitting clothes and sunken appearance to combat the carefree demeanour, because despite her joyful personality this character is ill and suffering. The contrast creates a unique experience for viewers, as we can see glimpses of the life this character could have led mingled in with the life she has instead been handed, one of great pain.
The makeup department, which was led by Courtney Jareel contributed to this presentation, as the characters were given sickly appearances, from matted hair to sweaty foreheads and sunken features. This realistic portrayal of teens with this illness made the two’s love story that much more heart-breaking and allowed the audience to suffer alongside the characters, as we could properly see the damage this illness had on their lives.