“The Sun Is Also a Star” doesn’t manage to shine bright

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Kiyana L., Reporter

*Spoiler Review*

The premise is simple. Jamaican-born Natasha and her family are being deported as they arrived in America as illegal immigrants. Korean-born Daniel is next in line to become a doctor and attend Yale; however, he must interview with an alumnus, to secure his place. Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy discovers they only have one day left together and must woo her over before it’s too late and he loses her. Sounds like your average young adult romance book.

I read the book, a novel by Nicola Yoon, in under two days and absolutely loved it. I was ecstatic to start the movie and find out if my vision was exactly translated onto screen. But it wasn’t, not even close. What I really enjoyed about the book was that it allows for the readers to follow all of the characters through their own unique perspectives and chapters. For example, Irene, a seemingly normal security guard who checks over Natasha’s bag, gets her own chapter. One in which we delve deep into her depression and her suicide to take place later on that day due to her insignificance to anyone’s life. I personally focus on the main characters whilst reading books, but with this approach, Yoon allows me to take into account all of the characters, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

However, in the movie rendition, Irene is never mentioned, which left me feeling as if the whole moral of the story was mixed in a blender and big chunks thrown out of the window.

This disputes what the title is conveying, The Sun Is Also a Star; even the smallest people in the background can shine bright, despite people not taking into consideration what they do for us every day. With the demolishing of the character Irene, the movie falls short of what the book was expressing. 

Moreover, in the book, Daniel’s brother Charles hates himself and his heritage, due to it not being the norm to be Korean in an American world. He hates his brother Daniel, and he repeatedly verbally abuses him whenever the opportunity presents itself. He is not a nice person, and it is revealed that he never becomes one. The last good that he ever does is give Natasha Daniel’s number. However, he still wants something in return. Nevertheless, in the movie, when Natasha asks for Daniel’s number, he agrees quickly and even says, “Just don’t break his heart, okay?” This bit defeats the purpose of having well-rounded characters who aren’t present to be liked or to improve other people’s lives around them. Some characters are meant to just be there to make people hate them. The film really falls short on this element, and it left me with a feeling of its being commercialized. 

Nonetheless, there are some moments in the film that are really great. For example, the use of fate to signify that what will be, will be and to allow things beyond our control to fall into place. Whilst I didn’t quite love this movie, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a cheesy teen rom-com. 

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