Ridley Scott’s The Martian is a straight forward, yet visual alluring movie about a man stranded on Mars and the team effort from Earth to bring him home.
From the beginning, it gets straight to the plot and beautifully illustrates Mark Whatney’s long, arduous and painstaking tale of survival and the NASA/JPL’s (with some help) persistent and tireless team effort to bring him home.
Ridley Scott directs the film with beautiful storytelling and stunning visuals. The plot does not meander and the scenery and visual effects are exemplary. Mars looks and feels real and the satellite imagery is used appropriately.
The humor is intoxicating and keeps the audience entertained. Most importantly the human determination and strong spirit is the key to the film’s success. We all aspire to be the best we want to be and when we run into trouble, we should always try to remain hopeful of the situation and never ever give up.
An excellent cast consisting of comedic actors like Kristen Wiig, reliable character actors like Jeff Daniels and Michael Peña (the former who doesn’t let his character become a caricature and brings a bit of Gregg Popovich in him and the latter who is great as always), Marvel characters like Kate Mara and Sebastian Stan, new names that some of the audience may have never heard before like Aksel Hennie, Benedict Wong, McKenzie Davis and Donald Glover and those in the background elevate the film from being an ordinary film. Jessica Chastain is wonderful as the commanding officer, portraying her character’s reactions with great naturalism.
Sean Bean is a delight as the Flight Director who eschews PR distractions by using his practicality and common sense to bring the crew home.
But the film belongs to Matt Damon and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Damon is brilliant as the main character Whatney who tries to do the best he can to survive on Mars. Each aspect of his acting does not feel forced and his deadpan is hilarious.
Most importantly his will to live drives the film and we feel as if we are with him and we want him to return home. He can add this performance to his personal top 5. In my opinion, Ejiofor is at the peak of his acting prowess and he is fantastic as Vincent Kapoor who is deeply involved about the fate of the crew and will do anything it takes to bring them home.
He is to be lauded for making Kapoor a strong willed humanist who is compassionate to everyone and views them as equals and simultaneously as a no nonsense engineer who wants things done at the best of their capabilities in order to save life. To him like Ed Harris’s portrayal of Gene Kranz in Apollo 13, failure is and will not be an option.
Background music is good, but the 70s soundtrack is even better much to the annoyance of Whatney.
Overall, this movie with its simple storyline, arresting visuals, and excellent ensemble led Damon and Ejiofor with honorable mentions to Chastain and Bean is something to experience.
Most importantly, the human determination and spirit is the most memorable aspect of the movie and will linger with you as you leave the theater. 9/10
Source: jsataluri – imdb