The Martian, a film directed by Ridley Scott (also director of Blade Runner, Alien, and American Gangster) was released on October 2, 2015. It is a sci-fi drama that revolves around an astronaut named Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who is on a manned mission to Mars. After a fierce storm on the planet, he is presumed dead and left behind by the crew. Although he survives the accident, he is now stranded and alone on the planet. With only meager supplies, he must use all of his talents and wits to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
One major point related to this movie is the brilliant writing and storytelling. The sequences and humor flowed so smoothly that a 144 minute film felt like a 90 minute one. The script was written by Drew Goddard, who also wrote Cloverfield and The Cabin in the Woods. His writing talents proved to be effective in this film and helped keep up Ridley Scott’s reputation of a world-building visionary. The movie is considered by some to be a metaphor for surviving serious illness. The Martian shows an astronaut facing a sudden occurrence of a life threatening change in the mission, and he is forced to deal with it physically and emotionally. Matt Damon’s character has the attitude that when life gives you a challenge, you have to confront it and take charge, not just give up. He is so persuasive that he figures out a way to grow food using his own waste.
The film also has a great soundtrack made up of retro-pop songs, such as David Bowie’s “Starman” and the theme song from Happy Days. The main character is armed only with recordings of the show Happy Days and his captain’s collection of old-school pop songs. By putting this into the script, they successfully incorporated it into the soundtrack, conveying an interesting vintage tone. The music matched the scenes very well and breathed life into the overall plot of the movie, creating somewhat of an old-school aesthetic.
The movie was also made up of an excellent cast, composed of Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, and Sean Bean. As the film progresses, the audience gets to hear the main character’s video logs of his thoughts and experiences. Some of the best moments of the movie are the parts where he is explaining what he wants to do or what he has done. Damon’s role is extremely convincing and realistic; his character acted how you would imagine someone would, being a lone castaway on a planet. The emotions of the characters helped set the tone and mood of the movie to give it an intense and adventurous feel.
The Martian is playing now in theaters and is recommended for everyone to see.