Recently my husband had been repeatedly nagging me to watch The Martian, he had been to watch at the cinemas with my brother and wanted me to watch it now. I like science fiction and who doesn’t like to look at Matt Damon? But still the concept just made me think “meh!”
So he nagged and one night I caved and agreed to watch it. I spent the next two hours on the edge of my seat in a state of anxiety. Hysterically laughing one minute, holding my breath and crying the next. Not to mention the number of times I turned and grilled my husband about what was going to happen. Within two minutes of the film finishing I was online and rush ordering the book.
Okay so spoilers will probably occur going forward. If you haven’t experienced The Martian yet, go away, watch it, read it and come back!
If we start with the film, I know that’s backwards, but humour me. Matt Damon is witty, intelligent and desperate in equal measures, he brings the life into the film. Ironic when they thought he was dead and abandoned him eh? But I also love the appearance of some favourite actors, in particular Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig. Their combination of humour, timing and sincerity really made the film special for me. Also, the Council of Elrond jokes made this LOTR nerd almost indecently happy. Seriously. My reaction was NSFW.
Anyway I obviously finished the film on a high and said those rare words heard in marriages, “yes hubby, you were right. I should have watched it sooner”. He did try to get me to repeat it on camera, but sorry no such luck.
Then onto the book, which is even more impressive. Firstly and a bit technically I loved the switch of narrator and narration styles to tell each bit of history and different plot and story line. It is often managed with such aplomb in modern novels and really was enjoyable. It kept me on my toes and always wanting more from the other plot lines, just perfect. The book is even more hilarious and devastating in equal measures. With Mark you deal with the complete acceptance that he is alone and probably going to die. How to deal with that? How to survive? You physically feel yourself standing up with him and deciding to fight, to not give in. To the personal favourite bit of mine, where you are with Teddy in NASA trying to hold it all together, but thinking what must my astronaut be going through, how is he coping, what is he thinking. Cut back to Mark arguing that aqua man should not have control over whales… Genius
I cannot recommend this highly enough, in either book or film, or even both. I am now the one doing the nagging at work “you MUST watch/read this”. But it has been quite a while since I have been so entertained and enthralled that I just can’t stop talking about it.