“The Martian” a must-see film unlike any other

Jillian LeBlanc, Columnist

We’ve all heard the story before; a man, left for dead, must overcome incredible odds in order to survive.

The difference here is that a man is left on Mars, rather than a deserted island, making it nearly impossible to return to civilization. Left alone, without a spaceship, or functioning communication devices, and with a limited amount of food and oxygen, Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is destined for failure.

While this basic premise is one that is commonly utilized, “The Martian”, directed by Ridley Scott, makes this old plot seem original and enthralling. It was originally a fiction novel by Andy Weir, which was put to life by awe-inspiring cinematography, as well as superb acting.

Honestly, I didn’t seek out this movie with particularly high hopes. For one, I’m no science major, and I was wary that all of the facts, figures, and scientific problem solving would lose me right away. I didn’t want to sit through a lecture or feel like an uneducated viewer, I wanted to enjoy a well-executed film.

Also, I really didn’t want to sit through a two-hour monologue. While “Gravity” was an interesting movie, I had no desire to see its copycat.

Lastly, I was rather skeptical about all the good reviews. I mean, come on; we live in a complex world, filled with copious opinions, and I find it rather odd that so many people share the same view. Movies are so widely available, everyone and their mother has something different to say, and feels quite comfortable saying it.

Ultimately, I expected to be let down due to all of the positive pandemonium surrounding its name.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. It wasn’t at all what I expected. I finally understood what everyone else did; I got sucked into the whirlwind of a truly remarkable movie.

The script was extremely well written, allowing even my non-science brain to follow easily despite the numerous technical situations. Everything fit together and flowed seamlessly, taking me along for one crazy ride, never once leaving me confused in my seat.

I was also very pleased to see that while there were monologues, they weren’t awkward or forced, and they didn’t take up the whole movie. It was also very cool that a big budget movie broke the third wall, and addressed its audience much like Ferris did in, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Overall, the movie was very smartly compiled and edited. It wasn’t just the acting, or cinematography, or the script, or directing, but more of a combination of all elements as a movie should be. Each aspect pulled its own weight, and was then pieced together with much care, creating a true masterpiece.

While numerous aspects were important, the music made the movie. Reminiscent of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Martian” expertly utilized music to dictate various moods. While the two movies couldn’t be more different from one another, their use of music is absolutely pivotal to their final product.

I walked into this movie expecting a very serious, somber tone, but the creative use of music completely changed the feel of an otherwise stereotypical premise. I certainly didn’t think I would find myself smiling and laughing at a movie like this.

Music helped create humor and joy in situations that were overtly dour and hopeless. Music dominated the story, making the movie more dynamic, more engaging and much more entertaining. It’s the aspect that ultimately sets “The Martian” apart from the label of “Cast Away in Space.”

Dramatic scores were used like any typical movie, using powerful instrumental pieces to tug at the audience’s emotions, but the key piece came in the form of 60’s Pop.

When Mark Watney’s situation became more dire, when you thought hope was lost, the likes of Vicki Sue Robinson exploded out of the speakers, blasting “Turn the Beat Around,” and effectively did just that.

The movie was so powerful because it wasn’t overly goofy, unrealistic, or overdramatic, it was the perfect exemplification of humanity. It was a movie that reignited my love for film, because it portrayed every aspect a good movie should.

If you haven’t gone to the movies in a while because you’re sick of paying for disappointments, if you’re like me and skeptical of hype, if you think science isn’t your thing, or if you aren’t interested in stories of sheer perseverance, I suggest you reevaluate and go to the closest movie theatre.

For many college students, money is tight, but if you find yourself with a few extra dollars in your pocket and a few hours of free time, I highly suggest a trip to the movies. “The Martian” is an oasis in a sea of crummy sequels, bad acting and simply stupid plots. It’s one I know I’ll be watching again and again.

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