For a “lost-in-space” story, The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott, is an unusually feel-good film. Comparisons with recent space-set dramas like Interstellar and Gravity may be inevitable, but its concepts are neither as mind-bending as Nolan’s, nor is it as emotionally wrenching as Cuaron’s masterpiece. Instead it’s a refreshingly old-fashioned rescue-and-survival movie with a protagonist so compelling, it’s impossible not to root for him every step of the way. 

After a fierce storm forces the crew of a NASA Mars mission to make an emergency evacuation and head back to Earth, Mark Watney (Matt Damon), an astronaut presumed dead by his team, wakes up alone on the Red Planet. He’s stranded 140 million miles from home, with only enough food supplies to last a few months. The NASA big-shots back in Houston are putting their heads together to find a solution, but it’s going to take four years for a rescue party to reach him. 
It’s a grim scenario, but our hero is no whiner. Even in the face of insurmountable odds and near-certain death, Watney takes on each obstacle with a determination that’s inspiring, and what’s more he manages to hang on to his sense of humor through the ordeal. Before long, he’s found a practical way to grow potatoes on the Martian sand. To fend off isolation he records video logs, and keeps himself entertained by listening to 80s disco hits from another astronaut’s playlist. 
The Martian, not surprisingly, rests on Damon’s shoulders, and he delivers an incredible performance that effectively conveys Watney’s mix of ingenuity and loneliness. Scott, who has made more than a few space films but never one as cheery, mines Drew Goddard’s script (based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir) for many laughs, all the while keeping the tone upbeat…even when danger and uncertainty looms large. 
But the film is as much about teamwork and the sense of brotherhood that binds scientists together everywhere. Scenes in which some of the smartest minds in the world collaborate to tackle problems related to Watney’s situation feel genuine and unexpectedly emotional. One particular scene, in which Watney’s original team is confronted with a major decision, caused a lump in my throat. 
Yet, at times you’ll wish the film didn’t spend long stretches on earth, away from Damon. And it does feel a tad stretched at nearly 2 hours and 15 minutes. Jessica Chastain stands out as the crew leader racked with guilt over inadvertently stranding Watney, but Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor barely make an impression in the underwritten roles of the NASA chief and the Director of Mars Missions. 
Bubbling with cheeky dialogue and propelled by its ‘can-do’ spirit, The Martian is an optimistic survival tale with a leading man who owns the screen. I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five. Scott puts a nice spin on the modern sci-fi, and a gives us a film that warms the heart.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− 4 = four

More in Rajeev Masand

  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Secret Superstar

    Lost in her own thoughts during an English class, a distracted student is pulled up by the teacher and caned when...

    BMS EditorOctober 20, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Golmaal Again

    I suppose it’s true: film critics are entirely unreasonable people. After endlessly complaining that the last two “Golmaal” films were like...

    BMS EditorOctober 20, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Tu Hai Mera Sunday

    Cast: Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Vishal Malhotra, Avinash Tiwary, Nakul Bhalla, Jay Upadhyay Director: Milind Dhaimade Sunday is just one of those days of...

    BMS EditorOctober 6, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Chef

    Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Padmapriya Janakiraman, Svar Kamble, Milind Soman, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Sobhita Dhulipala Director: Raja Krishna Menon As feel-good films go, Chef,...

    BMS EditorOctober 6, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of American Made

    Cast: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Jayma Mays, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones Director: Doug Liman It’s been a while since Tom...

    BMS EditorSeptember 29, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Judwaa 2

    Cast: Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Tapsee Pannu, Rajpal Yadav, Vivaan Bhatena, Upasana Singh, Anupam Kher, Sachin Khedekar, Manoj Pahwa  Director: David Dhawan Judwaa...

    BMS EditorSeptember 29, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Newton

    Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav, Anjali Patil, Mukesh Prajapati Director: Amit V Masurkar Above all things, Newton, directed by Amit Masurkar, is...

    BMS EditorSeptember 22, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Haseena Parkar

    Cast: Shraddha Kapoor, Siddhant Kapoor, Ankur Bhatia Director: Apoorva Lakhia It’s bad enough that Shraddha Kapoor looks nothing like the real Haseena Parkar...

    BMS EditorSeptember 22, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Lucknow Central

    In Lucknow Central, a bunch of desperate prison inmates turn to music in the hope of securing their freedom. Surface-level similarities to Qaidi...

    BMS EditorSeptember 15, 2017

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2017 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup