On our way to the cinema, I couldn’t help but think about how, around the same time last year we we’re going to check out Ridley Scott’s Exodus, and how disappointed we felt after. This time, Scott has tackled the adaption challenge, not with the Bible, but with Andy Weir’s, The Martian. The Martian is one great movie, no feelings of disappointment this time round, nice one Ridley Scott!
The first talking point is how matured an actor Matt Damon comes across as. There is ample chance in this film for Damon to shine, and I am sure we will all pick different moments that stand out to us. His moments of silent contemplation stood out to me, with the fanciful score strutting away, these moments really highlighted the gravity of the situation Mark Watney finds himself in. No doubt we all experience moments of loneliness, this is why I think The Martian speaks to a lot of us, because we relate to the idea of being rescued and relish the knowledge that someone is looking out for us.
Interestingly there is no real antagonist in this film, apart from the harsh circumstances. There is a great sense of camaraderie from all the characters in this movie, from the team at Nasa to the Ares team en route to earth. As prevalent as togetherness is in The Martian, it is important to note that the direction did not head into the realm of deep emotion. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar endeavoured to showcase human emotion between familial love and even romantic love, whereas The Martian treads lightly on such themes. For this reason The Martian, although a great film, hasn’t remained as memorable as Interstellar.
I want to applaud The Martian for making science, botany and space exploration exciting and fun, although it takes a space tragedy to achieve this outcome, the irony. Running at 141 minutes, The Martian does well to keep you entertained. It’s a visual treat, and some great talent has gone into the sound mix, not unusual for a Ridley Scott film. The shooting on location, no, not Mars, but in Jordan was a well-worth-it decision, apart from Mad Max or Furiousa showing up any minute, there is intense credibility and if you lose yourself enough, you start to believe you are in Mars!
So, if you’re wandering how much weight Matt Damon lost for The Martian, the answer is nothing! There are two possibilities that explain his thin Bale-like look, there was CGI used to thin him out, or my theory is, a stunt double was used. If you watch carefully, those scenes are edited in a way so that you never see Matt Damon’s face and body at the same time. Can someone shed some light on this? For now I’m sticking with The Stunt Double Theory. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think actors and actresses need to go to extremes for achieving greatness, but it’s always exciting to see radical transformations, namely Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club, just saying…
FilmMuncher’s if you intend to head to theatres this weekend, The Martian, some popcorn and perhaps a fizzy drink are the perfect combo for a couple hours of solid entertainment, so enjoy!
TRIVIA COOKIE: Due to the realistic portrayal or ‘Mars’ and science, according to social media sources, there are a number of people who believe that The Martian is based on a true story, and that ladies and gentlemen is a true story!