Have you ever wondered if there was life on Mars? If so, don’t look for an answer to that in this Ridley Scott movie; instead, enjoy the fantastic portrayal of one’s survival and solitude on Mars.
The Martian picks up speed very quickly. Not a second is wasted by redundant and expository setup. You meet the characters and then a storm hits. Everyone but Mark Watney manages to escape the storm and then the team is forced to leave him on Mars because otherwise the entire crew would die. From there we go on a journey of exploring how the previously-botanist Mark Watney finds new ways to survive on a planet where nothing goes.
Matt Damon is the glamorous, brilliant and scorchingly shining star of the show. When he’s on screen you forget who he is and simply grip your seat as hard as you can while waiting to see what ideas will come to his head, in order to “science the shit out of this”. What’s more, Damon is way, way better than anyone has expected at comedy. Nearly all of his one-liners land and you’ll find out the entire theatre is laughing at his jokes.
All the supporting characters, played by an immeasurably long list of great actors like Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, and many others, are in more than two dimensions even if some of them are a bit cliché. Here is another giant plus point of the film — it’s as diverse as a blockbuster gets and not once does it push it down your throat, making sure you know it has diversity. It has people from all walks of life and races. In addition, the director does a great job at making you care about each and every one of them.
The message the film wants to get across and convey is such a great one, but is to some extent, wishful thinking — it actually shows the world at what it could be, a utopia, in which the world easily comes together to save a person’s life. It tells, and shows, that we need to get over ourselves and join forces for the better good.
Speaking of messages and direction, I cannot not mention the amazement and internal happiness I felt as I went out of the theatre. Ridley Scott is back, plot-wise — visually, his movies have always been stunning and breathtakingly beautiful. Even with Exodus: Gods and Kings, that lackluster of a film, Scott had managed to make me admire his incorporation of practical and visual effects, and his fantastic use of 3D. His films are not gimmicky by just making stuff pop off the screen, he adds layers of depth and realism.
The Martian is an astonishingly great film with great cinematography, superb acting, and a fascinating plot and storytelling which in no way resembles the bad one of Gravity, the film it is compared to. It delivers on every level, leaving you with an enormous grin your face as you walk out of the theatre.