Movie Review: The Martian Child

  • Arts
  • High School
Eun Bin S. ('23)

The movie The Martian Child is a story of a man adopting a boy who believes he is from Mars and the struggles they face to become father and son.

David, the main character, is an author who writes science-fiction novels and lives in a spacious house with both a swimming pool and a garden. He prepares to adopt a child - something he planned to do with his wife before she passed away. Although David does not feel ready to become a father, he meets Dennis, a 6-year-old boy who was abandoned by numerous parents, at an adoption center. Dennis thinks that he is from Mars. He lives in a large box because the Earth’s sun is too hot and he also wears a ‘Gravity Belt’ made of batteries, thinking that he might fly away. All the kids at the orphanage call him a  ‘weirdo’. Dennis reminded David of his childhood memories when he himself was made fun of by his friends. Thus, David decides to bring Dennis to his house, reassuring him that it is safe to go outside with sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses. 

Nevertheless, it is not easy to raise a child who thinks he is a Martian. Unlike other kids, Dennis is special because he has the potential to make a baseball team win, change the color of traffic lights, take pictures of random surroundings all the time with a polaroid camera, and take others’ belongings without permission. This ability of his is often indescribable because no one knows whether it is just a mere coincidence or his strange personality, which in turn encourages the audience to believe that he could be from Mars. With the countless strange incidents that happen every day, David cannot take his eyes off Dennis, even for a minute. 

David views Dennis as an individual by respecting and attempting to understand the young child. Instead of telling Dennis not to do something different from others, David tries to understand exactly why he acts differently from other children. David also showers Dennis with love in every possible way so that Dennis believes he is capable of being loved, even if he feels betrayed by his own biological parents. 

Throughout the story, the audience starts to realize the reason why Dennis views himself as a Martian: he uses imagination in order to escape the pain he feels from being abandoned. He claims that his mission is to return to Mars before being abandoned again. Towards the end of the movie, Dennis asks David a question: “Why do you think they left me?”. David replies, “ Whoever lets you go, those are the stupidest beings in the universe. How could they not see how extraordinary you are, how big your heart is? I’m not even that smart but I can see it. Dennis, you’re my son. You’re my home, forever.  And I will never, ever, ever, leave you.”

Martian Child movie review & film summary (2007) | Roger Ebert

The Martian Child leads the audience to wonder whether we are all Martians. When we recall our childhood, we become a princess or prince of a planet, a wizard, or a superhero with our unique imagination and insatiable curiosity. Our special worlds are forgotten as we become accustomed to the social norms and culture of planet Earth over time. We often forget that we are all Martians at heart. Similar to Dennis, some people are discriminated against simply because they are not ‘normal’ in comparison to other people. However, in reality, we should not blame them for expressing themselves as Martians because that is what makes them special. 

Everything David and Dennis experience in the movie strengthens the feeling of love and respect we feel for our family and it also teaches us that everyone has something special, that is just lost because of how we all continue with our uniform lives. In the end, David delivers an important message: “Sometimes, we forget that children have just arrived on the Earth. They are little like aliens coming into being as bundles of energy and pure potential, here on some kind of exploratory mission and they’re just trying to learn what it means to be human. ”

The film was made in 2007 and is based on the true story of David Gerold, the author of the Original Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles”. If you are looking for a heartwarming family movie, The Martian Child is the one that will approach you with a sweet scent of spring.

More from the Seisen Post

Why is Wordle Not Popular Anymore?
Ishita Baid ('24)

Wordle, once a beloved online word puzzle game, has lost its charm. Find out what caused the downfall of this simple yet visually appealing game and why it's no longer a favorite among players.

An Introduction to the New Teachers
Ishita Baid ('24)

We are, once again, welcoming new teachers in this 2022-2023 school year! This feature is a small introduction to four of our many new MS/HS teachers.  

Mummy Returns: Rediscovery
Yunji Chae ('27)

To examine the mummy, we used to rip the coffin apart and damage it in order to look through.  However, in our present days, mummies can be “digitally” unwrapped by CT scanners without being ruined. This incredible technology unveiled secrets that had been kept buried for billions of years.