If you haven’t seen advertisements for The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott, you will certainly be hearing about it during Oscar season. This drama/ fantasy story is based on the popular novel of the same name written by Andy Weir.
The film stars Matt Damon, who is surrounded by an outstanding cast: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Michael Pena (Ant Man), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings), Sebastian Stan (Captain America), and many others.
Although all the actors play a functional role in the film, it is Matt Damon who shines with his enjoyable, humorous, and emotional performance.
The story follows the tragic events of Mark Watney (Damon) after an emergency evacuation goes wrong and his team is forced to abandon him on Mars believing that he had died. Fortunately for him and the plot, he is not dead.
With only the supplies left behind, he is forced to be clever and resourceful to survive on the the red planet. While he strives for survival, 34 million miles away from Earth NASA is forced to make questionable decisions regarding the unfortunate situation.
The film does a great job of keeping the viewer engaged and entertained throughout the entire film. Damon has the perfect combination of humor and seriousness and still makes the character seem real.
Many other characters in the film exceed in their role due to their creative introductions which allows them to flow in and out of the story with ease. To stay focused to the main plot, the side characters have a small biography which features their name and their position, to let the audience know why they are important without adding needless dialogue.
The dialogue in the film is interesting considering how Damon’s character is alone on Mars; he creates a video diary chronicling his adventures. It is also intriguing how the film’s setting is unknown but stays in familiar territory regarding the technology.
Even though the story is set on a distant planet, there are no other fantastical ideas; most of the solutions resort back to real science. This movie allows people to dig deeper into probability and theories and still remain amused.
The relationships between the characters are practical and without any romantic intentions. The actions are in result of fierce friendship and moral, social, and personal responsibility to themselves and others.
There are several parts in the film where everything seems lost. With lots of disastrous obstacles that many would submit to; the devotion to survival is inspiring to witness.
The outlook from another planet makes global issues seem minuscule. It is heartwarming to envision humans all around the world banning together to support one person against his the challenges of the environment.
Even with Hollywood constantly producing films set in space; The Martian puts an innovative spin of the value of life, and exemplifies the greatness of the human spirit. It is a fascinating movie that will have you laughing, cringing, and at the edge of your seat until the very end.