The Martian was an excellent film. It was a galactic drama with bouts of charming, Matt Damon comedy. Damon, who has made some unfortunate gaffes in the recent past, was adorable. Although other such stars as Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, and Kristen Wiig had roles in the film, Matt Damon was obviously the star.
I think if you’ve at all heard about the film, you know the premise. A NASA astronaut is stranded on Mars after being struck by debris during a storm on the unfamiliar planet and left for dead. He must survive on a limited supply of food and nutrients to survive. (This movie was filmed before the astronomic discovery, pun intended, that Mars has water, which would have changed everything.)
Damon’s character, Mark Watney, cannot live with the amount of food that was left in the vehicle on Mars for the entire time it will take for a rescue party to reach him. But he’s a botanist! So he is able to use his scientific background and extreme resourcefulness to figure out how to make the situation work for him. There are obstacles and slight changes in the plot line to make the story interesting. The end is appropriate and rewarding.
Let me make a few quick, superficial comments about the actors in the film:
- Kate Mara’s forehead is SO SMALL. She was a much better actress in this than in House of Cards, probably because it was smaller. (In case you can’t tell I’m not really a fan.)
- Sebastian Stan is Carter Baizen from Gossip Girl and, addict that I am, I can’t picture him as any other character. I told my boyfriend after the film that “one of the actors” is from that show, and he guessed correctly on the first try.
- Jessica Chastain is a great actress. I appreciate her loyalty to outer-space films; to be honest I haven’t seen her in anything else. I really like that she was the Commander in The Martian. That’s the kind of diversity we’re talkin’ about, Willis.
- Jeff Daniels plays a character with the same manner of speaking as Will McAvoy in The Newsroom. I suppose he’s good for roles that are super serious, or super stupid.
- I can’t take Donald Glover seriously. I just can’t, as hard as I may try.
- It’s great that Kristen Wiig is enhancing her CV, but my boyfriend asked why she, as the media relations associate for NASA, was involved in so many high-stress and important decisions. It was an excellent question. Maybe they could have cast her as a scientist.
This was an intense film that was thoroughly enjoyable and should be viewed. For me to say that, having watched the movie from the second row, straining my neck the entire time, is quite a feat. Normally I’m quick to hate films I see in that position, but this is definitely unique. I liked the character development, the camaraderie among members of the crew, the intensity and internal politics of NASA, and the “math” and “science” that were integral to the plots.
See it, definitely. And let me know what you think!