REVIEW- The Martian: On likeability, isolation and the Red Planet

Matt Damon portrays an astronaut who faces seemingly insurmountable odds as he tries to find a way to subsist on a hostile planet.

The Martian is the film I have been most excited to see this year – after months of anticipation I went to see it on it’s release day and it exceeded all of my expectations. Ridley Scott’s latest endeavour is based on the book of the same name by Andy Weir (the book is amazing and I definitely recommend it) and sees astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) get left on Mars after the remaining crew presume him dead during an emergency evacuation from the Red Planet. The film follows him attempting to survive on the planet where nothing grows and NASA trying to save him, all while his fellow crew members are returning back to earth.

From beginning to end The Martian is compelling – it quickly draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the end credits roll. You feel every emotion that Watney has, be it frustration, terror or happiness – this is completely down to Matt Damon’s brilliant performance, as he really brought the character to life and Watney’s likeability is amplified by his performance as well. Seeing as he spends the majority of the film not interacting with anyone else face-to-face, it is important that Watney is funny and also relatable (which he is in the book) – and this was definitely achieved in the film. As well as Matt Damon’s performance – Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor stood out to me too. They made their characters worries and uncertainty over what could happen as a result of a decision they made tangible, which allowed the audience to really feel part of the story.

Alongside stellar performances, The Martian also contained brilliant special effects that took it too a whole new level for me – and as a space nerd I was more than satisfied with the ultra-realistic Mars landscape that was created. The long shots of the mountainous terrain that surrounds Watney were a highlight – as they projected the desolation and awe felt by him and to a smaller extent the audience really well.

Overall, The Martian is definitely my film of the year so far and any others that wish to knock it off the top spot will have to be truly spectacular. All of the characters were brilliantly played and the plot led you on a rollercoaster of emotions, leaving no room for boredom or disinterest. These things, combined with beautiful cinematography make it pretty much faultless. Hopefully, it will pick up some awards come the season – because it more than deserves them.

By Megan Gibb


MEGAN GIBBMegan Gibb is a 19 year old from Cambridge, based in Manchester for university and has been in love with all things film ever since she can remember. Her fave films are The Terminator, Drive, Forrest Gump and Fight Club but she also has a huge soft spot for 1980’s John Hughes films. Her main interests include shopping for vinyl, eating too much carrot cake and making wall collages of 80’s bands for her and her friends. She can be found on twitter @megang96 and blogs atpopdunk.



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