Movie Review: The Martian

By: Peneflix

Director Ridley Scott and actor Matt Damon bless audiences with a film that has it all: breathtaking, mystical planet Mars (there is something positively spiritual about the otherworldly landscape) compelling, futuristic scientific strategies, actors trained (similar to Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”) to maneuver corridors of the gliding spaceship, “Hermes” (the Greek god of of the underworld,  a messenger), a script informed with levity, intelligence, humor and bona fide sincerity, and characters you’d love to have as dinner companions, regardless of their taste in music.

Damon, as astronaut “Mark Watney” is at his personal best. Stranded, presumed dead by his commander “Melissa Lewis” (another intense role for Jessica Chastain), he relies on his skills as a botanist and mechanical engineer to navigate, cultivate, and “settle” the uninhabitable. His videoed, piloted progress is self-deprecating, infused with irony, wisecracks, totally lacking in gushy sentimentality.

“The Martian” eliminates the claustrophobia manifested in “Gravity”, focusing on three venues: Watney’s sojourn on the lonely planet, NASA and its officials. Provocative portrayals by Jeff Daniels, the Head, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sean Bean as Mars mission directors, and Donald Glover (no relation to Danny Glover) is formidable as the quirky aerodynamicist who develops the “slingshot trajectory” a breakthrough (along with Chinese technology) to rescue NASA’s man on Mars. The crew on the spaceship must unanimously agree to an unsanctioned, fuel-threatened mission to save their friend. A trinity worthy of novelist Andy Weir’s 2011 bestseller “The Martian”.   

There is something softer, and gentler about “The Martian” differentiating it from other science fiction films. Intimacy, and accessibility; their personalities transcend their capabilities. Mark Watney, his ingenuity, intransigence in refusing to succumb to numbing odds, undoubtedly, is the most likeable astronaut we’ve encountered trolling the galaxies, not a Martian, just a “super” man.


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Author: Peneflix