Science; be it fiction or as a subject makes one’s mind rotate 180 degrees. Not everyone you meet today is a science fiction fan; rather it’s very hard in the era of fantasies, romance to find a liking for fiction that involves science. it’s the tremor of physics we studied in pressure in class 10th to 12th but it all comes down to stars and moon we watch and share our secrets, the universe we talk about, the galaxies to explore. Science fiction is something that boggles your mind. This trend of adaptations from sci- fic novels has been followed from decades; surely a much challenging task. Isn’t it fascinating yet so surprising to imagine the scenes mentioned in book?
From phenomenal science to outer space to the gravity and universe, every single aspect is stunningly amazing, taking much time for a reader to understand and visualize the words as images *sigh* It’s hard. But movies with upgraded technology simplify every possible scene at its best. They are surely a boon for many people out there who wish to read a particular book but are always out of time, three hours of your time and you just watched the zest of a best seller novel but the biggest turn off I feel being a voracious reader, is that the movies surely miss the catchy, witty details. I love that epic timing of dialogues between two characters which seems to be lost in the graphics and sound. In movie, it seems like an additional bonanza.
Coming to novels with genre as science fiction; that has been transformed and been a part of cinema is surely something I would like to bring out, so here are few books that were given a shot.
- HIGH RISE BY J.G. BALLARD
“High-Rise,” published in 1975, is very much a product of its moment. What surprises me is the vision of writer in 20th century visualizing about a high rise building, tower block providing its affluent tenants all the conveniences and commodities that modern life has to offer: a supermarket, bank, restaurant, hair salon, swimming pools, a gymnasium, its own school, and high-speed elevators.The lower floors are for the lower class resident. The societal class increases with the floor level. I appreciate when Robert Laing in movie narrates the film in the third person, directly quoting Ballard’s text at times. The biggest alteration to Laing’s character is due to the lack of his sister, Alice. In the book, Alice is present throughout and ends up living with Laing and another woman, Eleanor, at the end of the storyline. In the film, she has recently died and is mentioned multiple times.Charlotte Melville plays a much larger role in the film than she does in the novel. Instead of showing a one night stand with Laing, she and her son, Toby, feature in the film heavily, resulting in more of a relationship with Laing. While reading the book it deals with sexual aspect as an assault, the film puts some magic on and adds passion back to it.
The sexual politics in both the film and novel are of course disturbing, but the film has diluted the events going on in the high-rise, diminishing the impact of these moments. The book deals with wider aspect ranging from violence to assaults to harassing women which sometimes a soft hearted reader may find difficult to imagine and gulp it down. The film has done complete justice to the book with its amazing cinematography, it’s easy to watch for person who can’t take much violence still the movie miss small characters and the plot being diluted doesn’t add complete taste to it.
- ALLEGIANT DIVERGENT SERIES BY VERONICA
ALLEGIANT is the last part of the divergent trilogy veronica started; the book is written from the perspective of both Beatrice (Tris) and Tobias (Four) while in movie it has been portrayed from others perspective too. The book talks about five different factions or groups namely Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. Tris tests out for three equal aptitudes that make her divergent. Divergent are killed by the leader of Erudite as they are considered a threat to society. In the last book of trilogy the power of Erudite is over and fractionless is in power. In the book Tris and Tobias are invited into the meeting by allegiant group while in the movie there are several characters who escape.
The film doesn’t have the same luxury of introducing you to Cara, Matthew, Nita, Amar, David, Zoë and the rest of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare in a leisurely fashion as the book does. Instead, it does away with a few characters almost entirely, and lumps others into one or two super-roles. Matthew is a scientist in the book, but you never see him in his lab in the film; he simply shuttles Tris back and forth to David’s office. Another thing to point out is Tris died shutting down the memory serum being released upon the city after getting multiple bullet wounds from David while in Movie, Tris doesn’t die. In the book, there are no plasma globes that wrap around people. The movie in short with the use of technology makes believe things and sometimes give benefit of doubt to its viewers.
The Martian is probably the most realistic sci-fi film in a decade or more and largely faithful to the novel. The plot revolves around the crew of scientists sent on mars by NASA in year 2035 for month long stay but after only six sols (mars day) an intense dust and wind storm threatens to topple their Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), trapping them on the planet. During the hurried evacuation, an antenna tears loose and impales astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist and engineer, also disabling his spacesuit radio. He is flung out of sight by the wind and presumed dead.
However Watney is not dead but left alone by his crew thinking of him as dead. Mark being alone on the planet needs to survive with his skills, resourcefulness and presence of mind. The biggest difference between the novel and the film is the film’s ending. In book a crew member jets out on a tether, grabs Watney, and returns to the Hermes. There the story ends. While the film represents in a more dramatic way where Watney opts out some repulse technique and it’s really interesting to watch a suggestion in a book as a successful method for rescue. In novel there comes a point where he lost his contact with NASA while in cinematic script he always maintains that communication. Another big difference I think is the storm heading to him and how he expects the direction and speed without any communication and saves himself while there is no mention of that in movie.The movie does an amazing job on the visuals of rovers which something novel lacks of. The Martian is a great movie. It’s packed with serious talent and jaw-dropping Martian vistas.
The action sequences are entertaining, and seeing the positive portrayal of science, engineering, and human resourcefulness is incredibly refreshing. It removes much of the tinkering and problem solving that got the novel noticed in the first place.
“Be it a movie or a novel, in science fiction we are always searching for new frontiers as we are always drawn to unknown.”
Movies and books are like apple and oranges. They both are fruit but taste completely different. What makes a good book and a good movie are completely different thus it solemnly depends on the interest of person to choose one over the other.