Everything is AWESOME on Mars ! a little too much maybe
Laura Kressmann: So let’s talk about the Martian!
Priscilla Ruffe: Well there is a lot of feel good moments, disco music and potatoes…
LK: – Actually, it was nothing I was expected…. I mean it was, but not what I was wishing for.
PR: – You’re right, too much good sentiments. It could have been way more striking!
LK: – Don’t tell me!, the “human” aspect of the character is not really developped. However, the storyline was just a perfect opportunity to do so. Other movies, like “Moon” or “Interstellar” showed so well how space could be a way to showcase people loneliness.
PR: – Actually, it looks like the main character doesn’t feel any emotion, and considering what he is going through, it hard to believe he could be so emotionless.
LK: – It’s actually not the first time Ridley Scott made a movie where the main character seems to feel nothing! Remember in “Exodus”? Moses played by Christian Bale was a completely cold. Here it’s the same, without any affective dimension, it’s kind of let more room to a weird “YES WE CAN” patriotism.
PR: – Indeed, like only the pragmatic aspect of the movie interested the director, which looks really realistic, I give you that! The astronaut is actually the MacGyver of Mars. Well, this movie is an adaptation of the Andy Weir’s novel,and it respects this angle being very considering of the details.
Now that you mention it, what about the technical aspects of the movie?
LK: -Well, this is Ridley Scott style, no doubt! Regarding the directing, the photography is great and the sound effects are impressive. He has already blew us away with his sci-fi movies like “Alien” and “Prometheus”. You can enjoy the 3D, with numerous wid shots that make you more and more confortable being on Mars.
Also, time is very significant in this movie. You are always being reminded how many days have gone by on the planet which gives rhythm to the film and becomes an reference for the audience.
PR: As a matter of fact, what I think was really impactful, was the space-time notion. For almost ¾ of the film, you watch Matt Damon quite “ok”, being in shape, clean although he is eating only potatoes. And then, out of nowhere, he is skinny with a dirty beard, like he got suddenly sick. Or maybe the director just told himself “shit, it’s been almost a year he is stuck there, I should show more how it has been physically a struggle for him”. I know there were time indications “Sol -n days spent on Mars” but I think this time ellipse was too abrupt.
LK: – Big snag to mention indeed, transitions could have been way more subtle.
PR: – There are so expected! Let say all the movie lacks of subtlety when it’s about narrating the facts. I think it goes with the overall credibility and emotion state of the story. There are some “ties” missing.
LK: – So all the interest of this new Ridley Scott movie remains in Matt Damon acting.
PR: – Much of the movie relies on the cast. Matt Damon plays very well the perfect American that everybody wants to rescue…
LK: – Sure, but still I’m not 100% convinced though… #TooSceptical
I don’t think how the story is told actually allows him to delivert his best performance even though the Foreign Press Association thought differently. He doesn’t have his Big impressive Moment, that makes you want to say “what an actor!” #CongratsForTheGoldenGlobe though.
PR: – This is what you can say about the movie in general! you don’t have the waow effect when you leave the theater.
LK: – But at least Jessica Chastain is standing out. I think she brings a lot to the movie and has such a great presence thanks to her performance, just like in “A Most Violent Year” !
So it’s a nice movie, with good CGI effects, amazing directing and a touch of humour even in the worst situation but lacks of emotional depth.