“The Martian” Defies All Odds


Above: Matt Damon struggles to get home alive in “The Martian.” Stock Photo.

Not often does a movie come around with as many immensely talented aspects as Ridley Scott’s latest film, “The Martian.”

Based off of the novel by Andy Weir, “The Martian” follows the story of astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who has very unfortunately found himself deserted on Mars.

After a freak accident leaving his crew to think him dead, Watney has to learn how to survive on Mars until help can reach him. He has very little contact with NASA, few materials to survive on and experiences several near-death situations. Fortunately for him, Watney is the smartest guy on the planet.

Lead by Damon, the all-star cast is split up into three sections. Damon as Watney acts by himself for the majority of the film. Jessica Chastain, Aksel Hennie, Kate Mara, Michael Peña and Sebastian Stan make up Watney’s crew of astronauts. And, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Mackenzie Davis, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover and Kristen Wiig take on the roles of different NASA personnel.

Looking past the cast, the film has a beautiful look to it. The cinematography is extraordinary and, with the 3D, makes you feel like you are actually there. Though I am not usually a proponent of 3D, this film makes the most of it.

While a drama, this film will have you on the edge of your seat with intensity and falling off of it with laughter. Those who have read Weir’s novel will know that Watney still has a keen sense of humor despite being alone and Damon does not miss a beat.

Those who have read Weir’s novel will also remember that while the book ended with a completed plot line, there was more to be desired. Luckily, the film continues after the end of the novel and fully completes the story.

Something else that I feel needs to be praised is the music department on this film. Commander Lewis (Chastain) loves her disco music and chooses to bring it aboard the ship as her personal item. The timing of this music throughout the film is perfect. Be sure to look for perfect placements of ABBA’s “Waterloo” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”

Rarely, do I see film adaptations that I say are better than the book. Going into this, I was very skeptical of how it was going to be made, due to Watney being alone for the majority of the novel. But when it came down to it, all my expectations were blown out of the water.

Come January, it is clear that “The Martian” will be a big awards contender and it should not be missed out on. The film is now open nationwide.

This article first appeared on iPulse on October 8, 2015 and can be found here.

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