Plot: After an ash storm, Mark Watney finds himself stranded. On Mars. With limited supplies, a feeble shelter and initially no way to contact Earth. Tackling one problem at a time, Mark finds ways to survive, including growing potatoes from his own waste and the limited supplies he has.
When word reaches Earth, rescue plans are put into place. But things aren’t that simple and when the first probe fails to deliver supplies and Mark’s shelter is all but destroyed, arriving safely back on Earth no longer seems possible. Mark is a practical man though; he will not give up.
Quote: `You solve one problem…and you solve the next one…and then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home.`
Opinion: Having wanted to see The Martian for months, I had high hopes when I finally got hold of the film. I have to admit; it did not disappoint. The Martian is full of determination and courage and simple maths. Having had a build-up of months to watch it, I was surprised by quite how much I enjoyed it. I have not read the book so will offer no comparisons.
The plot is simple: a man is stuck on the Mars and the rest of the planet must find a way to get him home.
It is the characters that make this film. Mark Watney is instantly likeable and his determination and optimism makes you wish for a happy ending for him. How many characters can be placed in an isolated situation and remain likeable for the whole length of the film.
But it would be a boring film if there was only one character. The conflicts of personalities in the control centre back on Earth adds interesting drama to the story in regards to what will be authorised to bring Mark home. The rest of the space crew, while not given much screen time, all have clear personalities that makes you want the team as a whole to succeed knowing it would shatter them if they failed.
It has been a long time since I saw a film with so many familiar faces in it. Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain (who must like films about space considering her role as Murph in Interstellar), Sean Bean to name but a few. With a cast this strong, it is hardly surprising the acting was phenomenal.
The final scene where Damon and Chastain are together (giving nothing away) nearly made me cry. Maybe I was tired or maybe the film was that emotionally charged in a subtle way that it really moved me. Again, it has been a long time since a film affected me in such a way.
I think you can guess that it is a recommendation from here! This film was something a little different. No bad guys, just space. No action, but rockets, space-ships and deadly but natural films. The focus was on the characters and it was handled with tact and subtlety. Brilliant film!