BY KOBI AZOULAY
It is hard to find a movie loaded with science jargon that people other than sci-fi nerds can stay awake through, let alone enjoy, but Ridley Scott did just that with his masterpiece “The Martian.”
The movie begins with six astronauts excavating the surface of Mars when a huge storm approaches. As they attempt to get back to their ship through the storm, astronaut Mark Watney is hit by a satellite and separated from his colleagues.
Assuming his death, the rest of the crew leaves the red planet without Watney–that’s when the storyline emerges.
Watney did survive the storm, and now stranded on an inhabitable planet, must find a way to live in the harsh conditions of the planet by himself in a small base where he is only equipped with enough food to last him 400 sols (Mars days).
Knowing that he will not be rescued within that time period, finding another food source is vital. Luckily, he’s a botanist, making him the ideal person to grow food on the lifeless planet.
The realism in this movie is impeccable. From the scientific methods Watney uses to attempt to survive, to the hesitant public relations process NASA goes through trying to navigate this intergalactic controversy, the plot feels like a scenario that could actually happen one day.
There was also a good amount of humor sprinkled throughout the movie to lighten the mood of an otherwise deep movie. When a person is isolated from earth, let alone other people, for a long amount of time, you can imagine how hilariously crazy they might act.
Don’t even try to predict what happens next.
Every time it seems like Watney’s survival is inevitable, something drastic happens making his odds of survival seem about as likely as a snow storm cancelling classes for the entire rest of this year.
Sometimes the heavy loads of science and survival can be a little overbearing, but fortunately, those dull parts are few and far between, and the mind-blowing plot twists make you forget they even happened.
It’s the personal touch this film has that makes it so incredible.
The whole world rallies behind this one man and his fight for survival. A lot of people think that it’s going to take aliens to force the world to come together for a common cause, and in a way, that’s what this movie is about.
Except the world isn’t fighting this “alien,” but fighting to save him.
The great acting adds to the intimacy of the movie, as well.
Matt Damon, who plays Watney, truly seems like a man fighting for his life, and every other actor seems genuinely concerned for him. The script is as realistic as possible, with the actor’s mood matching seamlessly every step along the way.
The music did its job as well as it possibly could. The instrumentals match the plot and mood perfectly: inspirational music coincides with progress towards saving Watney while dramatic scenes have fast-paced, tense tunes.
There’s even some disco music thrown into the mix, which sounds strange, but enhances an inside joke in a way no other music genre can.
Special effects provide “The Martian” with a setting that pulls everything else together.
Aerial shots of the red planet’s magnificent, rocky mountains look as if they came right off of the NASA website, and help to transition scenes perfectly.
A lot of movies overwhelm the audience with special effects in an attempt to impress, and although this one has a lot of them (it’s not like they could actually go to Mars), it is only done to enhance realistic scenarios.
Even though “The Martian” goes a little bit heavy on the science at times, the surprising twists, passionate acting and practical special effects allow science-fiction to meet the mainstream market harmoniously.
The Flyer gives “The Martian” a 9/10.