We have had quite a few space flicks in hollywood since 2010 and some of them even turning into box office successes, like the highly acclaimed 2013 movie, Gravity and last year’s Christopher Nolan hit, Interstellar. And, as filming and production technology advances, we’re getting to see more and more realistic and scientific portrayal of the depicted deep space expeditions and mission on the reel. The days of Superman IV are officially over (pun).
And, The Martian is no different. Set in 2030s, the whole movie is pretty realistically shot and most of the terms used are on par with reality. Ridley Scott does a wonderful job of creating vivid imagery and breathtaking scenes and it’s hard to comprehend that all those scenes were synthetically crafted here on earth. CGI just simple blends in with the reality.
Now, coming back to the movie, it basically revolves around the story of a stranded biologist turned astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who is presumed dead by the rest of his expedition team and mission controllers at NASA after a huge dust storm rips apart their Martian base. Hours later, when he wakes up, he realizes the depth of sh*t he’s in. Nearly all of the communication equipment is destroyed and obliterated because of the said dust storm. Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) stars as the Mission Commander, among others in the supporting roles.
What follows on Mars is a long journey of the quest survival and this includes many sub goals such as establishing a communication line with the Mission Control Center back in Houston, Texas, improvising a method to cultivate food in the barren land and basically doing everything necessary to sustain until the arrival of the rescue mission.
The story back on Earth is completely different though. The rest of the crew members of the expedition, who are enroute to earth are kept out of the loop and there is an internal struggle going on at NASA in terms of funding and the lack of will to send a rescue mission. Add to that a catastrophic launch vehicle explosion which causes an immense setback. The road to finding solution leads to many different avenues, including the recruitment of grad college students.
Some of the scenes are insanely hilarious, such as the live broadcast of the chat between Watney and his Mission Controllers in TX. I mean, who does that!
The movie runs in these two parallel worlds (and of course, they ARE two different worlds). Since this is a no spoiler review, I won’t describe any further. But the twists in the tale are intense and the climax will keep you on the edge of your seat, like, for real.
For me, personally, This is one of the best space movies that I’ve seen in a long time. Very realistically portrayed, with stunning visuals and breathtaking CGI and landscapes. This is a must watch for Space junkies. If I were to rank Space movies according to their awesomeness, it would go something like this:
Though the movie is nearly flawless in it’s portrayal, what it lacks in is it’s ability to excite the audience for something to look forward to. 2001 did that way back in 1968, though the real 2001 was a different story. Interstellar too did that last year exploring lesser known concepts such as wormholes and time dilation. The Martian, meh, it’s says nothing about the future of Space exploration rather it’s merely a story of the quest for survival.
Final verdict is this, you should definitely give it a watch if your schedule allows. Movies like these are rare. Also, this is one movie that can be watched multiple times before it’s juice runs out unlike some other recent space flicks (*cough* *cough* Gravity.).
8/10 for me.
P.S: I know this is a pretty late review, but I still hope you guys enjoyed it. The punctuality issues are still being debugged!