|Film: The Martian
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean
On Mars, a team of NASA astronauts are conducting scientific experiments. Suddenly, a storm rolls in and they are forced to abandon the planet. On the way back to the lander, Mark Watney (Damon) is struck by debris and team leader Melissa Lewis (Chastain), believing him to be dead, takes off without him.
Some time later, Mark wakes up to find himself alone and in a dire situation with the harsh landscape stretching endlessly around him. Unfortunately, the astronaut’s temporary habitat will not sustain itself long enough for NASA to send a rescue ship. Mark must figure out how to survive with just the few tools he has.
This is straight-up science fiction at its very best, as we watch on in wonder as Mark tries to make water and grow food on the arid planet with minimal equipment. His trials and tribulations bring lots of humour as he records his numerous attempts via a handheld camera, but there are moments when his isolation and hopelessness bring tears.
Damon is absolutely outstanding as he carries a lot of the film on his own, and he shows a diverse range of emotions. The insistence of director Ridley Scott, whose pedigree in this genre is among the true elite, to feature as much accurate science as possible gives the film an extra layer of believability.
VERDICT: Sci-fi at its fascinating best.
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