The Martian


Posted by khrishan on 2018-03-18

So one of my bucket list items was to 'Read a Book Before the Movie'. I have been saving this book especially for this checklist item.

Currently, I am sitting in Prague Airport, about to board a plane to the UK (having read the book, but not watched the film)

When The Martian (the film), came out in 2015, it got great reviews. In fact, at the time of writing this, it has an IMDB rating of 8/10 and a 91% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

However, everywhere that I have read about the film, has said that it was a great film and it was a 'great tribute' for the book.* Perfect candidate!

Below are two 'diary entries' I wrote before doing each part.

P.S SPOILER ALERT

*** AFTER BOOK, BEFORE FILM***

Mark Watney is one of 6 Mars Astronauts, visiting the red planet (Mars) as part of the Ares 3 program. Due to an extremely high wind storm, the crew were forced to abandoned their mission early.

The wind was so strong, it forced Watney away from his crew and stuck a broken antenna into his body. This antenna went through his biomonitor which then showed the rest of the crew 'no sign of life'. The rest of the crew presumed he was dead and left. Guess what, he was still alive.

The story was made up of different 'styles'. The main story was written as a 'diary' of what he did in order to survive, what he had planned in case there was no chance of survival - and all the 'what was going on in his head'.

Added to Watney's log, the book seamlessley transitioned to NASA headquarters and what would have been going on in the establishment - when they realised he was still alive. Mini spoiler, it was very corporate - something I am very familiar with at the moment! :P

Also, when there were 'events that couldn't be explained by Watney (or by NASA)' (i.e the Hab Canvas ripping (again Spoiler)), the book kind of read like I was watching it as a film (kind of like the Original Spiderman, when Peter Parker gets bitten and you get the little montage showing the 'venom' go up his body).

As soon as he found a solution, it look like he would be safe - only for something to go wrong which meant he had to re-plan everything. He had to do this more than once.

What a read! Lets see what the film has to offer...

*** AFTER BOOK, AFTER FILM***

That was a really really good film. Obviously, they couldn't put everything in the film. (The fact he blew up Pathfinder with the drill for the rover, the tumble when getting to Schiaparelli crater are just two examples. In addition, they added a few extra non novel parts. Mark Watney 'teaching' a class on how to be an astronaut, Beck & Johanssen having a child, the Ares 5 launch).

I love how most of the dialog was kept from the book. Because they did this, I felt like I could relate to it a lot more. I like the running log that Mark kept. Matt Damon was an extremely good actor and played Mark Watney really well.

Few things I'm a bit disappointed about. (well really disappointed...)

WHY IS THE GUY CALLED VINCENT KAPOOR?! He is VENKAT and will always be VENKAT!!! I read online that they couldn't get an Indian actor to play him (I call bullshit!) Taking nothing away from Chiwetel Ejiofor, but he should have been Indian!

Why did Lewis go and get Mark? Should have been Beck!!! I understand the 'movie drama' aspect of the Commander going to get her crewmate and not risking another one, but still - Beck was a doctor and he got kind of ignored in the movie (until that kiss with Johannsen).

In addition, the missed out the whole storm which decreased his chance of survival! The storm Mark encountered on the way to Schiaparelli. The storm mean the solar panels didn't charge properly so they missed out on all the 'hacky' science Mark did to work it out. (He fried Pathfinder so he couldn't talk to NASA!)

If Avatar was a three hour movie, so should have this!

Conclusion

I think this whole experience has made me realise (once and for all), that reading is waaaaaay better than watching a film! I mean, I knew that already but reading this book / watching this film really drove thie home. The movie was amazing - but even still it was NOTHING in comparison to the book.

There are other instances of this where I really feel this would apply. Recently, I watched Murder on the Orient Express with a 'star-studded' cast. The firm was incredible - what about the book? Harry Potter, Hunger Games are just some of the examples that I belive would fall into this category.

I have another bucket list goal of reading 100+ books. I think by completing this one, I really have the motivation to try and complete it.

Thanks for reading! :) x

* Don't quote me on that, I cant find the references anywhere.