‘The Martian’: ‘Cast Away’ in space

Photo courtesy of Altao.pl
Oscar-winning Matt Damon stars alongside Jessica Chastain and Michael Peña in sci-fi drama.Photo courtesy of Altao.pl Oscar-winning Matt Damon stars alongside Jessica Chastain and Michael Peña in sci-fi drama.

Film’s cinematography and accuracy deems plot believable

Story by Adam WinnStaff writer

Photo courtesy of Altao.pl Oscar-winning Matt Damon stars alongside Jessica Chastain and Michael Peña in sci-fi drama.

Photo courtesy of Altao.pl
Oscar-winning Matt Damon stars alongside Jessica Chastain and Michael Peña in sci-fi drama.

“The Martian” is essentially, at its core, “Cast Away” in space. And while that may sound corny, it actually works.

The movie focuses on an astronaut named Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who becomes trapped alone on the planet Mars after an accident during a severe sandstorm. His team of fellow astronauts presume he’s dead and leave him behind while they head back to Earth.

With no foreseeable way of communicating with his team or NASA he decides that his only way of survival is by figuring out, in his own words, “I’m gonna science the s**t out of this planet” and by making serious life decisions that he knows could possibly kill him at any given moment.

This film is styled the same way “Cast Away” was. Both films are about a middle-aged man who becomes trapped in a nearly unlivable place, alone and must use the resources they have available to them in order to survive.

  Both films also relied on a one-on-one dialogue for the majority of each movie, since both of the main actors had no way of communicating with anyone else. For instance, “Cast Away” used a volleyball named “Wilson” in order to do this, whereas “The Martian” uses a video journal that Watney keeps on his computer.

The movie is directed by Ridley Scott, who is responsible for the movies “Alien,” “Gladiator” and “Prometheus.” This film will undoubtedly become a classic, just like his former movies that people will be rewatching years from now.

The cinematography of the film was beautifully done. It is so good in fact, that it makes the viewers truly feel like the movie could have been filmed on the surface of Mars. 

This film also uses a lot of accurate science behind it and incorporates it into the plot, so when the audience is watching the movie they feel like they are actually learning something. This adds a more believable quality to the overall movie.

For instance, in order to survive, Watney realizes he is going to have to grow his own food. He knows that in order to do that he’ll need large quantities of water, and after several tries of combining hydrogen and oxygen, then burning it, creates water.

Even though “The Martian” is considered more of a sci-fi and a drama, the script offers quite a bit of comedic relief. It seems like the only purpose of the character of Annie Montrose, played by comedy genius Kristen Wiig, was to say witty one-liners. Even though it doesn’t add anything to the quality of the film, it does help lighten the seriousness of the rest of the script.

  The same goes for the main character Mark Watney, who is trying to lighten up his predicament by saying things like, “They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong.”

“The Martian” isn’t flawless. The running time was well over two hours long, and even though the plot takes place over a considerable amount of time it still felt like the film could have been trimmed down a bit, especially when it comes down to the scenes that are focused on what was going on back on Earth.

This is definitely worth the time and money to go see. The audience will not only leave feeling satisfied with the plot, but they will feel like they learned something in the process too.