FILM REVIEW | THE MARTIAN

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By Annie Slevison

 

If you know cinema, chances are you know Ridley Scott, and you know that this Hollywood heavy weight loves to make a Blockbuster. As the director of previous notable films such as Alien (1979), Thelma and Louise (1991) and Gladiator (2000), I was expecting big things upon watching his newest creation The Martian (2015) and as always, Scott did not disappoint.

 

The Martian tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney, played by the ever-endearing Matt Damon, and his quest for survival on Mars after being accidently left behind by his space crew. After another daily storm ravages the red planet, Watney is missing and presumed dead by his team who make the morally difficult decision to blast off back home to earth in hopes of saving their own lives. And this is only in the first few minutes. Then comes a film that is part drama, part comedy, as Watney must keep himself alive on little substance and a witty outlook, as NASA orchestrates a rescue mission. The Martian tackles the theme of survival and will to live, as Watney fights the elements of a planet that is so visually amazing and real, you forget that us humans have not actually walked it yet. The moments of tension and drama that Watney experiences on Mars mirrors that of the team at NASA and their need for a quick solution, giving audiences a captivating parallel between planets.

 

Mars was a nice addition, and clearly an achievable goal in the foreseeable future.”

 

The universe has been the trend of the cinematic world for a few years now and in perfect honesty I believe that there is only so much one director can do with space. Everything that can be done, pretty much has been, but Scott gave it a whirl and nailed it. Mars was a nice addition, and clearly an achievable goal in the foreseeable future. The plot wasn’t overly dramatic, but realistic. Although at times the science lingo threw me out of left field and I became momentarily stuck in an astronomy lecture, it was proof of good writing and diligence in providing the audience with what can only be assumed as an accurate representation of the events and conversations that would take place if this crisis were to happen.

 

I would forgive you in thinking that The Martian is that of the science fiction genre, with the title suggesting a story of extra terrestrial beings and alien life but the film is far from it. I would also forgive you in thinking that it is in some ways reminiscent of Gravity (2013) but again thankfully it is not. I couldn’t bear to watch another high paid celebrity float around space for two hours and despite what the trailers suggest, The Martian is far from a one-man show, and all the better for it. The array of familiar faces that saturate the screen move the film along in a timely matter, and give substance to the plot, you like the characters, you enjoy their intelligence and are interested by their actions. The film is knowledgeable and quite frankly out of this world.

 

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