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.
I don’t usually write reviews about older movies, but in the light of the re-release in the cinema of the Final Cut version and me taking the opportunity to visit the theater and watch it again, I thought I would give my thoughts on this timeless classic.
The story introduces us to a futuristic world, with new technologies expertly depicted on screen, considering it originally came out 33 years ago. It’s visually stunning and it never ceases to amaze me, how Ridley Scott and his crew managed to capture the essence of a dystopian society so well, that the thought of it becoming reality accomplishes to agitate the viewer.
Credit has to be given to Harrison Ford, cast after the success he had portraying Han Solo and Indiana Jones, both similar to his character Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, personified by their sarcastic wit, cool-guy attitude and being attracted to the opposite sex. He shows his charm in being the lead and his ability to never stop entertaining, by embodying his character’s main aspects as mentioned before.
Very important to the believable retro-future dystopia is the music composed by Vangelis, mostly with the use of synthesizers, he manages to complement the neo-noir and dramatic elements of the movie masterfully and provides the film as envisioned by Ridley Scott a more dark and ominous tone.
A Science Fiction masterpiece, a must watch and worth revisiting for any movie fan.