Entertainment, Review

The Martian: A Review

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By Jacob Chapman

The Martian is a film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon, with a large supporting cast. It tracks astronaut Mark Whatney who is stationed on Mars. In the midst of a storm, Mark’s crew is forced to evacuate. Tragically, Mark himself is lost and they are forced to leave him behind, assuming him dead. On the contrary, Mark manages to survive, but is still faced with the issue of being stranded on Mars. He has no choice but to try and communicate with NASA, and work out how to grow enough food to sustain himself until NASA can rescue him. This is undeniably quite the task on a planet where nothing grows.

Matt Damon gives his best performance in years. He plays Mark Whatney as extremely engaging; a witty, intelligent character who you almost immediately feel attached to, from the beginning right through to the end. It has been a while since I’ve watched a film and been able to empathise with a character on such a level. You feel every moment of his pain, laugh at his jokes and desire to see him make it through the adversity. The rest of the cast all give strong performances, inevitably some playing more agreeable characters than others.

the-martianThe film is visually stunning; Mars looks so beautiful you almost want to live on it. You literally feel as though you’re on Mars with Mark, as opposed to a desert in Wadi Rum. Space is made to look so gorgeous that you end up with your eyes glued to the screen, not wanting to miss anything that the aesthetic offers. Some of it is almost breath-taking.

The Martian has a running time of 141 minutes, a long picture but unnoticeably so when you’re sat watching Mark and his story. Time flies by, as you feel his struggle and the effort of others to bring him home.

Ultimately, The Martian is a thrilling survival film with brilliant visuals. Its scientific accuracy turns it into something even more compelling and Matt Damon is fantastic. If you haven’t yet seen it, I would highly recommend that you do whilst it is still in the cinema. This is a film that everyone needs to see, whether you’re a sci-fi geek, film buff or just a casual movie goer. An impressive 5/5 Stars.

Jacob is a first year film and media student who is a huge film buff and loves the art of cinema. You can find him on twitter @MrChpmn

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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