A Film Analysis of The Martian, a Science Fiction Movie by Ridley Scott

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2 pages /

1165 words

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2 pages /

1165 words

Downloads: 210

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Table of contents

  1. Cinematography
  2. Acting and Tone
    Music and Sound
  3. Conclusion

The film, “The Martian” is a science fiction movie that premiered in 2015 under the directorship of Ridley Scott. The film is based on Andy Wier’s novel, The Martian that was published in 2011. Both critics and proponents of the film agree that it is a forecast of the events that take place in future. It captures the events that take place in Mars on a Martian Solar day. The characters undertake the solar expedition using Mass Ascent Vehicle. However, a heavy dust storm cuts short the mission. Mark Watney, one of the astronauts gets lost in the middle of the storm. Melissa Lewis, the director of the mission, orders the rest of crew to vacate the vehicle and run to the orbiting vehicle. Mark Watney is left alone, and he crawls to the surface base. Later, NASA tries to reach to him using a Pathfinder's camera and later communicates with him using a rover's code. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sends food aid to Watney. The China National Space Administration helps NASA to rescue Watney from where is trapped to the orbiting vehicle, the Hermes. Watney is later rescued and becomes a survival instructor for astronauts. Based on the film’s cinematography, tone, acting and music and sound, it is apparent that The Martian is a movie worth watching.

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The Martian opens with brown colors that show a rainbow-like stretch that reflects the dawn sunlight. The sunrise portrayed by the opening colors signify a new beginning (Scott min. 3). The director mixes the brown color with a dark background. Mixing the two colors portrays the director’s intention to show a new beginning and ideas in space exploration. The colors, for instance, portray the danger that lurks in space exploration (Jesus par. 4). The dust storm that leads to the suffering of Watney represents one of the dangers that astronauts face when they explore the space. Additionally, the brown colors portray the new life that Watney lives in Mars. He discovers that the soils in planet Mars cannot support food production, but he tries to grow crops (Scott min. 23). Additionally, bright colors that strip away from the dark background tend to communicate the director’s intention of making the film scaring and entertaining. The bright colors emerge from the darkness as the astronauts try to escape the storm t. One lady character shouts “Watney!” and in the middle of the shout, the bright colors fade away to usher in darkness (Scott min. 11). The director uses the fading in and fading out of the bright and dark colors to attract the audience’s attention. For instance, when the fading of colors happening in the middle of the character’s shout, the audience is likely to be attracted to learn more about what happens next. Based on this curiosity, the audience is made to stick to watching the film. The audience is likely to be at the edge of the seat when the colors are faded in and out as they try to see the next event. Watney says "surprise" as bright colors focus on him (Scott min. 37). The director uses the event to showcase the opening of new events in the movie. A flashlight that illuminates the entire world captures the attention of the audience as its prowess is seen to be immeasurable. The director uses the flashlight to make the audience see the beauty in astronomy. The need to discover the beauty makes the audience to be glued to the screen as they try to catch up the events that surround the science of space exploration.

Acting and Tone

The expressionist gazes portrayed by the characters reveal the director’s intention to keep the audience attracted to the film. All characters express their feelings and intentions based on the prevailing conditions. The director builds the gazes of the characters in a way that shows their familiarity with the real events and fears that surround space exploration. The audience feels part of the film when he gets used to the gazes of the actor’s. Also, the viewer is likely to associate themselves with the events in the film based on the conduct of the actors. For instance, the happiness that Watney shows when he talks about his survival in the storm can make the audience to always watch the film. The lady that says “we have got an incoming message” portrays facial expressions that show her surprise that Watney is alive (Scott min. 29). When Watney hears the NASA officials talking to him, he shouts and lifts up his hands as an indication of happiness. After portraying Watney go through dangerous adventures, the director builds his acting to reveal his happiness. The audience holds breath as they wait for Watney to come out of the suffering. For instance, when NASA and other space explorers say that they will need at least four years to rescue Watney, the audience feels devastated. However, the commitment shown in the action of the NASA officials at their office reveals their surprise and come as a relief to the audience as Watney is finally heard saying "I am still alive.” (Scott min. 41). Also, the costumes that the director assigns to the actors reveal the theme of space exploration. The actors wear protective clothing and helmets as they undertake the risky space exploration. The enthusiasts of action movies are likely to find The Martian an entertaining film as it shows the actors in action costumes. Besides, the acting revealed in the film portrays both laughter and sorrow as the dominating tones. The audience experiences sorrow feelings when they see Watney suffering. Interestingly, some characters laugh when they learn that Watney is alive.

Music and Sound

Spells of violent sounds in the film aim at revealing the danger in space exploration as one of the director’s themes. Although the sounds are scary, they help in enabling the audience to remain focused on the film’s main action. The director uses violent sounds to make the audience to focus on the suffering of Watney and the rescue mission that aim at helping him from danger (Scott min 57). Personal sound effects such as shouts and heavy breathing from the characters also keep the audience focused on the film. The soothing music that opens the film attracts the first audience to the film as it prepares them for the cast.

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The Martian is a fiction film that reveals the suffering and rescue of Watney after he goes missing during a space exploration mission. The director uses the events to showcase his prowess in building an attractive film using relevant colors in cinematography, acting, tone and sounds. The fading in and out of bright and dark colors make the audience to remain glued to the screen when the film is shown. The actors reveal gazes that attract the audience to the film. A mixture of violent and personal sounds makes the film memorable. Therefore, The Martian is a film worth watching and that people should spend their time on regardless of their preferred genres.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

A Film Analysis of the Martian, a Science Fiction Movie by Ridley Scott. (2018, July 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 26, 2023, from
“A Film Analysis of the Martian, a Science Fiction Movie by Ridley Scott.” GradesFixer, 03 Jul. 2018,
A Film Analysis of the Martian, a Science Fiction Movie by Ridley Scott. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Sept. 2023].
A Film Analysis of the Martian, a Science Fiction Movie by Ridley Scott [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Jul 03 [cited 2023 Sept 26]. Available from:
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