Matt Damon is one of a few Hollywood actors who are so likeable that even when he plays a villain (eg in The Talented Mr Ripley and The Departed), we can’t hate him – in fact, we salute his acting. And when he plays the good guy, no matter how mundane the story (eg The Zoo), we can’t find it in our hearts to criticize him.
So, when he plays ‘The Martian’, he nailed it.
The Martian is like the tale of Robinson Crusoe – a man who is left stranded alone, without much hope of getting rescued. But this time, instead of being alone in an island, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) was left behind by his crew on Mars, presumed dead. Think about it – if you were abandoned alone, on a hostile planet that has no vegetation and no water and, with almost 0% chance of getting help on time – how would you feel? How would you react? What would you do?
Fortunately, Mark Watney has some supplies left and most importantly, an amazingly creative intelligent brain and a degree in botany (makes us realise the importance of knowing how to do gardening):
Instead of wallowing in despair for being abandoned on a planet which has no oxygen, with temperature dropping freezing cold at night, suffering frequent fierce storms, no plants and no hope for the future, Mark pulled himself together and started his own greenhouse and ‘colonize’ Mars with the humble potatoes. Sometimes humourous, sometimes suspenseful, but always inspiring and never boring – I think The Martian is a good example of cinematic storytelling at its best.
I believe it is still playing in most theatres, so if you have time and want to get inspired, or simply to motivate your kids into starting a garden in your backyard (or go into agriculture), watch The Martians. Or, you could also read the best-selling novel by Andy Wier, on which this movie is based. And if it’s no longer in the theatres, wait for it at Astro First. Or get the DVD. 😀
The Martian is directed by the famous Ridley Scott, and Matt Damon is supported by numerous outstanding stars such as Sean Bean, Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, etc.
Breathtaking scenery, awe-inspiring bravery, impressive acting, intelligent dialogues sprinkled with a dash of humour here and there, it is a movie that I would love to watch again, and again.