Book vs Film, Room vs The Martian

by Laura Findlay

Dear Zoo,

You know that old thing, what’s better, the book or the movie? Let’s examine that today. You know, I don’t think you can really compare, let’s say, the book The Martian and the movie by the same name. You could, but I think there is a better way to go.

For one thing, the book (not that I have read it, we’ll get to that) doesn’t feature Matt Damon. Now, Matt Damon the botanist astronaut? I like that Matt Damon. I’m sure he is only ‘enhanced’ by the epic script which I’m sure belongs in part to Andy Weir.

Books are books – they reach you through word pictures, really great ones. From here you draw your own world and go on your own epic (Mars) journey. I like books because you get swept along, as you draw this world. Movies, though, are a bit different. They’re more of a visual fiesta and likely, less of a solitary journey, more of a thing to do together.

They’re also made using entirely different tools. You wouldn’t compare a bicycle and a sponge cake would you,  though you might enjoy both. I think sometimes we get fixated on how the two ‘measure up’ but often they’re in incomparable, yet excellent in their own rights.

Despite that, I like that there are the two versions, because it means you get to see a new take on something, go on the journey again. This year I want to SEE the film Room, because I loved the book and I want to READ the book The Martian because I loved the film.

What about you, words over pixels? Solitary or cling-to-each-other? Have you read/ seen Room or read/ seen The Martian? Do you like hunky botanists too?

Yours at breakfast,