02 Oct 2015 ● English ● 2 hrs 21 mins
Look, there’s no two ways to say this. The Martian is fantastic. It’s easily one of my favorite films of the year and it’s only October! The movie stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who gets left behind on Mars and has to survive with limited resources available until help arrives. Damon’s portrayal of the character is stellar! His comic timing and his acting is spot on. The way his character keeps himself positive even during overwhelming odds in which the average Joe would probably lose all hope of survival (on a planet where nothing grows, which Watney himself admits) is extremely enamoring. There is a genuine concern that you feel for the character’s plight. And whenever he achieves something like, being able to establish contact with Earth or grow food, you want to rejoice with him.
The screenplay is brilliant. Usually in these types of movies, people pay money to see the stranded guy on the alien planet. And whenever it shifts focus, people tend to turn off and lose interest in whatever is happening. That was NOT the case here. The efforts made by NASA on Earth to help their stranded Astronaut is as interesting to watch as Watney’s exploits on Mars. And all that comes down to a genuinely well written screenplay by Drew Goddard. The dialogues were pretty damn funny and had me in stiches. The material was kept very light without complicating matters a lot but still managed to keep me on edge.
This is a welcome return to form for Ridley Scott. Now I can’t comment on The Counselor or Exodus as I haven’t watched them yet but it is widely known that since American Gangster, he had failed to make a truly great film. This is that great film! An evenly paced, uncomplicated and utterly fun film which proves what Scott is capable of when he’s in his element. The cinematography is beautiful and the CGI is inch perfect. The background score truly is a BACKGROUND score. It doesn’t jarringly blare out and you tell you to go “OMG OMG OMG” but complements the visuals perfectly. The 3D aspect of it is brilliant. Not since Gravity has a film used 3D this well.
This is a near perfect film. The texts which pop up on screen describing a character or a place were kind of bothersome and unnecessary. The Chinese CNSA cooperating with NASA seemed a bit too convenient and felt like a fantasy on the writers part (maybe he was going for the “Greatness of Human nature during insurmountable odds” but I didn’t really buy it) but that’s just me nitpicking. Go for it. This is a fantastic piece of work. Scott is back. Damon looks to be the man of the moment right now and we may very well have an early contender for Best Actor as well as Best Adapted Screenplay.
"The Martian", a space adventure movie with enough drama to keep your attention intact is a passable effort.Technically superb with excellent camera work and graphics, the film's best moments come only during the NASA office interactions and when the estranged protagonist Matt Damon communicates with his crew members who leave him behind at Mars when their space expedition is hit by a storm of sorts.The film chronicles the life of Matt Damon as his tale of survival and communication to his home planet and how his perseverance and never say die attitude(and adding to that his knowledge in Botany) keep him going even as he is playing the not so likable disco music tracks of his boss and surviving on potatoes and even having to help himself medically by stapling his gaping wound after removing a foreign body impacted in his abdomen.
The film is slow and the biggest problem in spite of its technical brilliance and adequate to neat performances from the supporting cast(Jessica Chastain in particular), is that the Matt does not connect with his audience on an emotional level like how gruesome tales of survival from earlier Hollywood movies did.You stare in awe at the lovely orange sands,the violet hues of space and even the scenes when the crew float from chamber to another in the space ship..but this story needed more emoting(at least from viewpoint).Director Ridley Scott's film scores in its concluding scenes when the crew mates and the behind the scenes NASA team work deftly in their rescue mission.
A film that leaves you in awe but could have been much better.Yet 2 thumbs up for this scintillating tale of survival which is best enjoyed on the 3-D in the cinemas.