The Martian: The book vs. the movie
Sometime back I said I would discuss The Martian book versus the movie version. It took longer than I thought but here it is as promised. I should start by stating where I stand. I am generally of the old school, that is, the idea that the book is always better than the film, well maybe not always in my case. I do have to say that it generally is in most cases. However, there are a few exceptions; I think therefore when viewing, I try to give the movie a fair shot.
If you want to know more about the book and what I thought of it read my review in the last post. I don’t want to reiterate what I have already said about it except as it relates to a direct comparison or contrast of the movie. To sum it up I will say that I generally liked it with a few exceptions.
How the movie stacks up: differences
First off, the movie strips most of the swear words and fbombs out. For people like me who don’t like fbombs in particular, this is a good thing. As part of my school work we had discussions about the perceived efforts of the film industry to make this movie family friendly. Some were against it because they thought it took away something from the character of Mark Watney. I don’t agree with them, I felt it made it a bit easier to like him.
That brings me to my next point, the casting of the movie. Matt Damon was a great choice for the role of Mark Watney. He added a certain charm to it. I wasn’t as thrilled about some of the other members of the cast. I liked Kristen Wiig as the PR rep. but did feel like they drastically shrunk her role from the one that her character plays in the book.
However for me the biggest negative was how they changed the ethnicity of Dr. Kapoor. In recent years we have finally begun to see more roles for Indian Americans or people whose background originates in India. The fact that they took that away really bugged me. Yes, they had another Indian guy in there but he had a much smaller role. Plus, Dr. Kapoor had one of the best lines in the book, the funniest, that related directly to the Hindu religion of the character. It then obviously had to be taken out when they changed his ethnicity. So sad.
My recommendation for this movie is that you see it. It is certainly worth taking a look at, even if some aspects of it are disappointing. Those who like some of the original characters from the book might find it a little disappointing but I am preparing you for it ahead of time so hopefully it won’t be a big shock. As far as book versus movie, I guess I am going to have to root for the book though it is difficult for me to do so with all the fbombs but overall, it tells the better story.
Watch the trailer here: