Monday, 19 October 2015

A Pinoy @ the Movies: The Martian

       (Matt Damon is MARTE in Español)

When I was in Barcelona two weeks ago, I spotted this Marte poster at a bus stop. If only it was small enough, I could have borrowed it from where it was posted. That day, I asked around whether there was cinema nearby where I could watch it. Sadly, the cinemas were too far from where I was staying.

But instead of watching The Martian at that side of the planet, I was able to watch it closer to home, at the Lotte World Mall, whose cinema claims to have the Guinness World Record for the largest fixed 35mm projection screen. I wonder if having a bigger screen would also make the red planet bigger? Hehe. 
(Lotte Cinema's Guinness Book certificate)

Anyways, on the first few minutes of the movie, I immediately realized that the lead actors, Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain were both in Interstellar. In Interstellar, Chastain was able to reach Saturn, while Damon reached a very far planet outside the Solar System.  And here, in The Martian, they're both content with a planet just next to Earth. Ha-ha-ha! 

While I found the movie funny at times due to Damon's character and hate for disco music, its message was actually deadly serious. It's about a human being (Damon) trapped in a planet where nothing grows in sub-zero temperatures and waterless atmosphere, and how he was able to make do with what he had. And the scenes showing the view of space and stars from his lonely planet was spectacular.

Here on Earth, we waste a lot of food and resources, take our environment for granted, and still don't feel any guilt for all these. The scene where Damon, after learning he was trapped on Mars alone, was taking an inventory of his limited food supply and counting the number of sols (a day in Mars) it would last was perhaps a very good reminder for all of us that all the things we are enjoying now on this planet will not last forever. 

As to the lighter side of the movie, it was Damon's optimism and sense of humor that helped him survive being alone with all those disco music left by Chastain, being alone as a martian. You have to watch the movie on how Damon responded when Gloria Estefan started singing to him to "turn the beat around...let me hear percussion!"

And when he started to tinker with all those equipment and gadgets to prepare his trip back to Earth, Donna Summer sang "Hot Stuff" in the sand dunes of Mars.

The Martian is a funny movie with a very serious message, and thanks to my friend Inpyo, I got to travel to Mars through the world's widest screen at the Super Plex G of the Lotte Cinema inside the soon-to-be the tallest building in South Korea, the Lotte World Tower.

The Martian is worth the interplanetary travel, and I recommend you watch it. And if you're fond of disco songs, you may leave the cinema dancing, especially at the closing credits when Gloria Gaynor appropriately sings "I will survive!"

So, did the martian survive? Go watch and you'll find out.

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