The Sun Is Also A Star: Movie Only Scratches the Surface


Niki Dashtban, Reporter

Do you believe in fate? The newest teen love story The Sun Is Also a Star welcomes audience into the lives of two teens from different backgrounds who spend one day together.

Based of Nicola Yoon’s bestselling novel, the movie follows the lives of Natasha Kingsley (played by Yara Shahidi) and Daniel Bae (played by Charles Melton).

Both strangers to each other, we meet Natasha, an immigrant, who is fighting for her family to not be deported out of United States and forced back to Jamaica, and Daniel who is preparing for his interview at Yale in respect of his parents decisions though his true passion is in the arts.

Now before I start my review I want to say that I really, really wanted to love the movie as much as I did the book. The book The Sun Is Also a Star was one of my favorites of all times. The movie on the other hand…was not.

Before I get into the criticism, I want to say what I did enjoy about the movie. I enjoyed its simplicity; it had a nice flow to it. I really did enjoy a lot of the soundtracks and music accompaniment; they made the movie a little bit emotional and a lot more fun. The long montages were nicely done as well.

I am going to be honest though: I didn’t like the movie. I fully believe that it didn’t live up to the book’s greatness. Here are the reasons why.

The Plot Changed Exceedingly:

One of the biggest things that bothered me during the movie was that the plot line changed drastically. Yes, the movie did have the basic ideas and plot of the book, but it didn’t include so many of the things that made the book emotional and unique. The best part about the book was that it wasn’t just a love story filled with sweet romance. It was about how every individual affects people around them—strangers, even—with the smallest of gestures, and how they can affect others, too. The movie didn’t include this aspect of book at all. It was mostly about the love story of Daniel and Natasha, and even that felt bland.

No Emotional Intensity Between Daniel and Natasha:

Another thing that I found annoying was that Daniel and Natasha’s romance felt forced, not at all like the book. When you watch or read a romance, you are usually rooting for the characters to end up with each other, however, I found that in the movie, I didn’t really care for Natasha and Daniel’s romance because it didn’t feel real. It wasn’t the kind of romance that makes you swoon or the kind that drives you insane. Quite frankly it was bland.

Their Personalities Were Too Naive:

Both Daniel and Natasha’s personalities were too different from their personalities in the book. Daniel felt desperate and at times a little creepy, not at all like he was in the book. Natasha was supposed to be closed off, clever, and realistic, but though the movie tried to include those characteristics, they failed miserably. She fell in love with Daniel too quickly and didn’t really put up a fight. In the book, Natasha tried to fight off her emotions for Daniel but in the movie she fell in love instantly. Because of that, their love felt naive and shallow.

The Issue of Illegal Immigrants Was Barely Touched:

The movie did include brief moments about Natasha’s hardships of being an illegal immigrant who would soon be deported, however, it lacked the emotional depth that the book had. Nicola Yoon, the author of the book, made sure to cover this issue extensively and colored it exactly how it was. The movie did not. In the beginning of the movie, we see Natasha who is fighting to prevent her family from being deported, but the romance takes over the plot and this issue doesn’t really come up again until the end of the movie. The romance dominated the entire plot and the only time the issue of deportation was pondered upon was when it affected the romance. The directors didn’t go into the issue as deeply as I had hoped, and by doing that, the movie was less meaningful.

There is no doubt that The Sun is Also a Star is one of the greatest books to ever exist. The book is a heart-wrenching and bittersweet novel that will leave all readers in tears. The movie lacked all the plot points and events that made the book devastating and beautiful. It lacked emotional depth of the book, the main plot point being the naive, shallow romance between Daniel and Natasha. It wasn’t a horrendous movie, but it was bland and lacking, and definitely did not live up to the book’s greatness.