Today’s movie was one of 2015’s biggest blockbusters. Not only was it the tenth highest grossing film that year, it also got tons of awards and nominations (including a Golden Globe for Matt Damon and seven Academy Awards nominations).
Andy Weir’s novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars was the starting point but did the adaptation do the book justice?
Mark Watney has a pretty good life. He’s an astronaut and headed to Mars with his crewmates. Everything fine so far.
However, when a huge sandstorm comes up and the crew has to go back to the space ship, Mark is struck by debris. Believing him dead his colleagues leave. As it turns out, Watney survived and is now Mars’ inhabitant #1.
Until he finds a way to communicate with earth his is all on his own, trying to survive on a planet that’s perfectly fit to kill him…
Book vs. Movie:
I’ll start of with the novel. A huge shout out to Andy Weir for putting so much effort into not only writing a fascinating story but also trying to make it as accurate as possible. I even ended up researching some of the stuff on the internet!
It definitely is hell of a ride. We experience what Watney goes through via the logbook, working as a form a diary. I read Robinson Crusoe a year ago and didn’t fancy it too much, so I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy Weir’s novel. Surprise: it has a great pace, a great sense of humor and you actually learn something. As you can imagine, the book contains lots of scientific stuff and you have to concentrate while reading to get it all right. However, Andy Weir tried hard to explain everything in a way that you can understand it. Watney’s character is very relatable and I just loved his jokes.
So, let’s move on the adaptation. Matt Damon was the perfect choice to embody Watney. He had already proved his acting skills in other splendid roles but with the Martian I had the feeling that he really captured the essence of Mark Watney. Well, the actors also really fitted their roles, I swear some looked exactly the way I imagined them. I had to laugh so hard when Sean Bean explained why the call that one secret thing Elrond.
Furthermore it was really cool to see all the technical stuff on screen. I don’t know about you but I have no clue what an MAV actually looks like. So I had a hard time to construct a picture in my head for a few things while reading.
When it comes to the plot itself, they stuck rather close to the original. Some things were left out, but the managed to still make sense with the whole thing. I also enjoyed the little epilogue we got in the movie. To be honest, I wondered “That’s really supposed to be it? Nothing more?” when I read the final page.
Last but not least I want to shower the soundtrack with a little praise. The original music for the movie is amazing but what I liked best were the disco songs they incorporated. It’s actually a running gag as the only music Mark has on Mars is some 70’s disco stuff the mission commander had on her personal hard-drive.
I have to say, The Martian is one of the best adaptations I came across in a long time. Both the book and the movie are very well made and fascinating. They complement one another perfectly!
Did you watch the movie? Read the book? Let me know in the comments what you think!