The Martian is an epic sci-fi adventure by the legend that is director Ridley Scott. He tries to not only show the capabilities of human kind, how far we can go, our instinct for survival but also the capabilities of science and what it allows us to achieve.
The film revolves around a single character, Mark Watney, portrayed by Matt Damon and just like any other movie revolving around an individual, its success is very much built on the actor’s performance. Luckily it’s an incredible performance by Damon, probably not one for the Oscar, but that doesn’t take anything away from the fantastic way he embodied a NASA scientist on Mars. Even though the focus is on Damon’s character, there is still another part of the movie, which has a great supporting cast adding even more charisma to the storytelling.
The Martian tries to stay away from the dramatic side of things, for the most part. There is less focus on how Watney reacts and more on how other people react with his efforts and struggles. Should the movie have shown a bit more on the dramatic side of things it might have been an instant classic and Damon would have a shot at an Oscar but that is not what the movie is about. Borrowing something that Neil deGrasse Tyson said about the movie “Science, not human emotion drives the plot’s humor, interpersonal relations, tension and suspense”.
One of the most important aspects of the film, is its jaw dropping cinematography, simply amazing work to capture the essence of the story and the backdrop that is set on. Ridley Scott is back to his best, with this incredible adventure which ticks all the boxes. It’s funny, intense and most importantly inspiring. It might not bring anything new to the movie world, but in terms of influencing people with some great storytelling it definitely will.