I’m a big believer in reading the book before the movie. Last week, I spent an entire day devouring The Martian by Andy Weir and holy crap, I loved it so much! The adventure, the thrill, the intelligence, the sheer enormity of Mark Whatney’s situation had me engrossed from start to finish.
The book is very well written and is chock full of detail. I am unsure about how much of the science can actually put into practice in the real world but wow, does Weir make it seem completely possible! The plot revolves around Mark Whatney getting left on Mars through a complete accident and the goodness in the cooperation of humanity to try to bring him back to planet Earth. The book is full of action and the humour is spot on. I hope it translates well through the movie.
LT Ratings: Overall rating: 10/10 | Comedy: 9.5/10 | Adventure: 10/10 | Awe Factor: 10/10 Must Read/Average/Pass: Must read!
Speaking of the movie, it’s going to premier at TIFF on Sept 11 and I am very excited to be attending the screening. However, I do have one problem with it. Venkat Kapoor is one of the main characters in both the book and the movie and is clearly depicted as a man of Indian descent. However, Chiwetel Ejiofor is the actor who will be playing Kapoor. Ejiofor is of British/Nigerian descent and is an amazing actor who is renowned for his acting in Twelve Years A Slave and many other films.
But in a world where we already have the issue of whitewashing in movies, I am distressed that this is yet another battle we need to fight. Whitewashing is a prevalent issue that made news yet again when Emma Stone was cast to play a character that was partially Hawaiian and Chinese and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, a Native American.
This issue is not whitewashing. Instead it is something else entirely. The message this casting choice sends is: ‘People of colour are interchangeable’. They are not. At a previous point in time I would have cheered that Hollywood decided to allow a man of colour to play a man of colour in the movie but in 2015, I do believe it is not irrational of me to expect an Indian person to play Kapoor in the film. This actually detracts my focus from the book’s overall message of the unity and goodness of humanity and instead makes me question the progress the world has made.
That being said, I will still be watching this film at TIFF because the book was just that amazing. Read it. I promise you’ll probably be done in two days.
Until next time,
All photographs taken from The Martian (book cover *Andy Weir) and the film still shots.