The Martian Book vs Movie

Zoe: Hi everyone, hope your week has been great. I thought I would mix things up a bit seeing as we have been doing a lot of reviews, and do a movie vs book post. Today I am comparing The Martian’s book (by Andy Weir), which I read mid-January with the movie (starring Matt Damon) which I watched quite a while ago so sorry if I forget or miss anything. I thought this would be a fun way to look at both the different materials and see which one I personally liked more.

The Martian is a science fiction novel turned movie written by Andy Weir and directed by Ridley Scott. The story follows an American astronaut called Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars in the year 2035 and must improvise in order to survive. I originally watched the movie back in 2015 and thought it was amazing however the amount of science was probably why I was put off the book for so long. A couple years later I was walking around a bookstore, saw it and knew I needed to give it a go seeing as books are generally considered better than the movie. I wasn’t sure if it was going to live up to my expectations, but am so glad it did and I absolutely loved it.

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I think after reading the book I can see how faithful the movie was to the novel but it does skip some important scenes and details in the book. When reading I remembered watching the same scene which I found really helpful as it allowed for me to get a better picture of what things looked like such as the rovers, HAB and Pathfinder. I think for me personally it was a big benefit of watching the movie first as I was able to see remember visually the content in the book and this took away some of the confusing science. Here are some of my most noticeable differences between the two:

  1. The Ending

The ending of the book and movie are clearly different and when reading the book I kept waiting for the movie ending to happen and it just didn’t. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book or watched the movie, so although the outcome is the same I think I preferred the movie ending more as it felt a bit more personal and emotional.

  1. The epilogue

Probably the most significant difference was the epilogue which was included in the movie but not the book. It is said that Andy Weir had written an epilogue but didn’t end up using it because he didn’t think it felt the right. Strangely I think I love the way the book ended but also love the way the movie ended. I think because I saw the movie and was satisfied with the end I didn’t really need an epilogue and I felt the book still wrapped up really well.

  1. The Strom & Crater

Really the whole journey from the HAB to the Ares 4 landing was different. When travelling to the Ares 4 landing site where Watney intends on getting rescued from, he encounters a sand storm which sets his journey back as he can’t get the sun to power his solar panels and move the rovers. This certain thing didn’t make the cut in the movie and although it was a nice addition to the book to create drama, just wasn’t really needed in the movie. Also on this trip it is said there is a major crater he has to travel down in order to make it to the Ares 4 site, however this was excluded and the trip was relatively safe. I think time was a constraint on this factor so although it added extra dimensions to the book it wasn’t need to keep the pace of the movie.

  1. Pathfinder

Another big twist the movie skipped was the devastating moment when Watney accidentally destroyed Pathfinder thus destroying his only way of communicating with Earth. I thought this was actually quite a big deal as he had to make it the last 100 or so days with no communication until he reached the landing site but the movie skipped this part and Watney had contact with them for the whole trip. I’m not really sure why, maybe time, but I think the book detail was more entertaining.

These are just 4 of the major differences I found when reading the book. There were a couple more but I think to make the movie successful it removed much of the tinkering and problem solving that got the novel so famous, purely for time and entertainment reasons. The book contained so much more detail which was really fun to read so maybe if I had read the book first I would have been upset some of these things weren’t added. Overall I don’t even know if I could pick between the 2. I loved the character of Watney, written amazingly by Weir and acted amazingly by Matt Damon.

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Movie: 5/5 stars

Book: 5/5 stars

And that is all. Sorry for the really long review. If you got all the way here, thank you so much for reading. I would highly recommend the movie and book of The Martian as I thought they were both brilliant. If you have read the book or watched the movie make sure to tell me your thoughts and which one you preferred. Thank guys, we will be back with another post soon. x

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