I’d been meaning to post a review of The Martian by Andy Weir for the last few months, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Now I get to write something even more fun: a fangirl’s thoughts on the movie adaptation! *SQUEAL* Weir’s enthralling novel hits the big screen in October, and the trailer looks fantastic.
The book’s simple premise belies its sophistication and charm. When an accident in a storm strands astronaut Mark Watney on Mars, he must survive on his own ingenuity until a rescue attempt can be made. Watney’s voice is immediately likable. Despite his desperate situation–or perhaps because of it–some of his narration is laugh-aloud funny. I felt like I was right there with him on the red planet, listening to bad disco music while driving around in a rover. Never have I read a book that managed to make physics equations so engaging and mathematical computations so dire. The Martian is science fiction in its most literal form: a story drawing on hard, factual science. Weir’s scholarship in this regard impresses. Some of the scenes back on Earth, where NASA races to orchestrate Watney’s rescue, are a bit predictable and slow, but do not detract from the story’s gripping pace. When I finished the book, I turned to my Laddie and said “wow, this would make a great movie!”
In a few months, we’ll find out if this is true. The first trailer for The Martian hit all the right notes with me. I was thrilled to see Matt Damon cast as Watney. Not only is he one of my favorite actors, when I was reading the book Watney’s character looked and sounded a lot like Damon in my imagination, so I can’t think of a better choice. A host of other top-notch performers round out the ensemble, including Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, and the perpetually underrated Sean Bean. Ridley Scott’s directorial style promises an appropriately epic scope for the story. If the full film lives up to the teaser (and how many of them do, honestly?) it could depose Interstellar as breathtakingly-realistic-space-drama of the decade.
If you haven’t yet read The Martian, what are you waiting for? You’ll gobble up the book in just a few days and spend the rest of the summer in eager anticipation of the movie. I don’t often get the pleasure of seeing a favorite novel on screen, and this fall I get to enjoy at least three: Mockingjay, In The Heart of the Sea (which I would see even if it weren’t based on an amazing book, because Chris Hemsworth *SWOON*) and now The Martian. It’s going to be a great winter film season!