I don't get off sci-fi but I can appreciate a good sci-fi film when I see one and The Martian is amazing! Despite the bleakness presented in The Martian, the film doesn’t make a sad ride of the horrifying situation; on the contrary, it’s quite a hilarious one.
Matt Damon excellently portrays the title character Mark Watney, the said Martian, in this film based on a novel of the same name. Botanist-turned-astronaut Watney is separated from his Ares 3 team while on a mission to Mars following a severe Martian dust storm. With increasingly hostile conditions, Captain Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) is forced to order the crew to abandon its mission leaving Watney, who’s believed to be dead, behind. But is he?
Watney awakens from the Martian sand, critically injured but with a resolve to survive his predicament as he waits out three years until the next manned mission to arrive and rescue him. Damon is terrific as he humanises his situation ensuring that as a viewer you genuinely root for him, not only because the story is about him but because he’s a likeable and determined protagonist.
He intimately portrays Watney as an inspiring and ingenious professional but still a vulnerable and fragile human being who you can’t wait to be brought back home. Damon’s devotion to this role is palpable and his use of humour to deal with his situation, effortless; I can already hear the Oscar buzz.
The co-stars including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig and Kate Mara are utilised masterfully in their supporting roles and they deliver quality performances. Almost each contributes directly to Watney and the film overall creating a cohesive streamlined narrative.
The Martian’s most memorable moments are shared equally between Space, Earth and Mars; as we see the Ares 3 crew’s helplessness, grief and Watney’s survival challenges on Mars, the Ares 3 ship in space, and the NASA administrators weighing the options of rescuing Watney.
The Martian is a thrilling and entertaining story of one man’s struggle to stay alive in an inhabitable planet millions of miles away from home as people on Earth rally together to bring him back home. The 3D visuals of the sci-fi technology in the film, set pieces and action sequences in space and on Mars are stunning.
The only things I didn’t like about The Martian was that it dragged a bit too long and the annoying and unnecessary pop-up texts on the screen texts describing characters and places.
I’m not sure about the accuracy of scientific depictions in the film but the cinematography and exciting story of human and emotional triumph should be enough to get you to the theatre to watch The Martian. In 3D for that matter, you can thank me later!
This review is courtesy of Anga Sky Cinema – Panari
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