It wasn’t until I saw the trailer for the Hindi movie, “Mission Mangal”, that I realized that the story of the women behind India’s spectacular success in launching the Mars orbiter, Mangalyaan, was a story worth depicting on the big screen. When I watched the movie last week, I was pleased to see a sari-clad version of Hidden Figures, the Hollywood movie about women mathematicians who supported NASA for the moon landing fifty years ago.
Like many movies that feature an underdog or a losing team overcome all odds, this was a feel-good movie. The movie succeeded in highlighting the fact that it was a group of women who spearheaded this effort, a fact that needed to be celebrated. However, the movie failed to educate the masses about the dedication and deep knowledge that is required for such an endeavor. It also failed to highlight the human interest stories that underlie the motivations of the people involved, by making their characters into caricatures.
When books get made into movies, they take away the depth and nuance of words and turn them into a visual spectacle with pretty people, big sets and computer graphics. But is there a book about these women, I wondered? Turns out there is.
“Those Magnificent Women and Their Flying Machines” by Minnie Vaid. Buy the book through our affiliate link here.
I have bought the book and plan to read it soon. Stay tuned for the review. What do you think about books and movies? Which one do you like better?