Friday, 11 March 2016

Book to screen - The Martian

I would say I am totally open to reading any book, from any genre, but science fiction is something that I have rarely dabbled in. A long while ago I read 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' by Philip K. Dick but I think that's probably it, until I picked up 'The Martian' by Andy Weir. I half knew about it from a book You Tuber I follow and had seen a review or two on Goodreads, but had no idea what it was about really when I decided to add it to my groaning-under-the-weight-of-books-I-just-fancy-trying bedside table. 

So it's about an astronaut, who is stranded on Mars. In order to survive he decides to grow potatoes. Through sheer resolve and determination he finds ways to communicate with NASA and well, I don't want to give the ending away, so if you want to find out what happens you'll have to read the book. Which is very easy to read. And very funny! This I was not expecting at all. I found myself chuckling out loud several times. Mark Watney (the main character) is a funny guy! Although there is a lot of science-y stuff in it, it's pretty easy to skim over those parts, unless you're a total science geek of course, in which case, knock yourself out. 

As soon as I was finished with the book I knew I had to see the film to see how it was done. Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, and it's directed by Ridley Scott, so it already had a pretty good head start; it didn't come as too much of a surprise that I loved the film. I thought Matt Damon was amazing - his transformation from buff astronaut to skinny astronaut waiting to be rescued was actually quite visually shocking, and overall I thought his performance was outstanding. I loved the way that Mars was depicted - it was stunning and very red. The music added so much and was used in such a clever way that it made me laugh out loud a couple of times. The various spaceships and vehicles were amazing and I wondered out loud to Dave how much it must have cost to build them all for the film (or were they borrowed from NASA? Would they really allow a spaceship to be taken apart and dropped to the floor...? I think not but feel free to correct me if you know better!) The only downsides for me were the added bits at the end - those pesky film-makers never can resist from meddling! But it didn't at all spoil the film, which I thought was ace. Definitely recommended. 

Maybe I need to try more science fiction. Any recommendations? 

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