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“The Martian” is Original, Gripping, and a Must-See

Matt+Damon+plays+Mark+Watney+in+the+adaptation+of+Andy+Weir%27s+novel.
Matt Damon plays Mark Watney in the adaptation of Andy Weir's novel.

Matt Damon plays Mark Watney in the adaptation of Andy Weir's novel.

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

Matt Damon plays Mark Watney in the adaptation of Andy Weir's novel.

Sahil Bhutani, Online Editor

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Based on the novel by Andy Weir, “The Martian” is the compelling tale of the aftermath when Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), an astronaut, is left for dead on Mars. Watney must find a way to survive with the crew’s leftover supplies long enough to contact NASA.

I have not read the novel so I am unsure how closely the movie resembles the book, but the script is brilliant. Striking just the right balance of hope and despair, with a surprising amount of humor peppered throughout, the story doesn’t drag at any point. It also skillfully switches between three points of view—NASA, the returning crew, and Watney—with just enough frequency that each conflict and group of characters remains fresh in the mind, adding solid progression to the story with each scene. The amount of humor is surprising, but the quality of it is fantastic as well. Albeit some may consider some of Watney’s humor toward the beginning cheesy writing, Damon does such a good job of delivering it that the jokes are enjoyable nonetheless.

Beyond his delivery of humor, Matt Damon plays Mark Watney brilliantly. He portrays the can-do attitude of Watney with just the right amount of arrogance so as to leave the viewer incredulous but not alienated. More importantly, he does a fantastic job of illustrating the (hypothetical) psychological effect that occurs when you’re literally the only person on a planet.

“The Martian” is a fantastic film that not only takes the viewer on an emotional roller coaster, but also manages to do so without becoming stale or predictable.

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