Matt Damon, as an astronaut, trapped in space and hoping to find a way back. No, you are not watching Interstellar, this is the Academy Award-nominated movie The Martian, based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir. Exciting for all sci-fi fans, this film follows the story of astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who survives a storm on his mission to Mars only to discover that his crew has left him behind on the planet after presuming him dead. Watney is now faced with the challenge of survival, equipped only with a few provisions and his sarcastic sense of humour, and the sole aim to let NASA know that he is alive and return home.
The plot itself of the movie is both interesting and straightforward – it is all about Watney’s struggles to survive and his goal to get back to Earth alive. It looks both at the astronaut’s perspective as well as the NASA, and it includes a number of scientific procedures that seem quite plausible and realistic. In fact, according to Space.com, it might just be “the most realistic space movie ever made”. The only downright scientifically impossible event in the movie is the initial storm, since a kind so dramatic does not occur on Mars. Everything else ranges from improbable or suboptimal to totally possible, according to The Guardian, which is pretty impressive.
The film captures a perfect combination of action and humour, but it most certainly goes beyond that. It has been nominated for 7 Oscars in the upcoming 88th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role. Besides these, it was also nominated in the Visual Effects category, and rightfully so: the visual effects are stunning, making you feel like the movie was actually filmed on Mars! The other four nominations are for Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Writing (Adapted Screenplay), all of them well deserved.
Finally, the film is very optimistic in the sense that it focuses on many positive themes, like hope and not giving up. It is an inspiring movie that contains both positive messages and role models, and it shows the efforts not only of the main character but also of his crew (played by Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie and Michael Peña), who risk their lives to get him back home safe and sound. At the same time, the movie celebrates science and all its progress, making us wish and wonder whether we will get to see a man’s footprints on Mars soon.
Is it worth seeing? Yes, for sure. Especially if you are a fan of space, you will not be disappointed.