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K-PAX

K-PAX (2001) Movie Poster
  •  USA / Germany  •    •  120m  •    •  Directed by: Iain Softley.  •  Starring: Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack, Alfre Woodard, David Patrick Kelly, Saul Williams, Peter Gerety, Celia Weston, Ajay Naidu, Tracy Vilar, Melanee Murray, John Toles-Bey, Kimberly Scott.  •  Music by: Ed Shearmur.
        A mysterious and extraordinary mental patient, named Prot, convinces both staff and fellow patients that he comes from a utopian planet called K-PAX. While his psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Powell, is baffled by this cheerfully confident man, Prot's description of life on a planet 1000 light years away awakens a sense of possibility among the other patients. The doctor gradually begins to witness this so-called alien having a remarkable effect on the mental health of the hospital's other patients. When Prot says he's going back before the summer ends, all the patients in the ward vie to go with him. As the days before Prot's announced departure from earth race by, Dr. Powell struggles with questions of science. Determined to prove the stranger is nothing more than a tragic victim of multiple personality disorder, the doctor soon finds himself doubting his own diagnosis.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 2:46
 
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Review:

Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
Image from: K-PAX (2001)
To have a visitor from another planet would have to be one of the great fantasies that we as humans always seems to have. That is also true of the many movies, which are done on the 'Alien life form' themes. Movie classics such as the brilliant 'E.T- The Extra Terrestrial', 'Flight of the Navigator', 'Close encounters of the third kind' are just to name a few. Then in 2001 a little film starring two-time academy awardョ winner Kevin Spacey called 'K-PAX' came to our screens. While it might not be as good as the aforementioned movies, K-PAX is an original movie that tries to make the illogical, logical.

When an innocuous man is detained in the aftermath of a mugging, he is handed over to a seasoned psychiatrist at an under-staffed public hospital. The police turn Prot over to Dr. Mark Powell after he politely tells them that the light on their planet is too bright for him ¿¿¿ much brighter than back home on the distant planet K-PAX. Prot says he is on a fact-finding mission, and patiently explains how his experiences on earth contrast with life on K-PAX. He finds much to like here, but says he will return home before the summer ends. Dr. Powell is haunted by dark fears for Prot, and is determined to use every tool at his disposal to discover the man's truth before it is too late. As the days before his announced departure race by, all the patients vie to go with him back home to K-PAX.

The makers of this film did a pretty good job with it. I like how the story has a feel that 'it might or might not be true', as that is what we as the audience are asked to decipher. Directed by Iain Softley in such a unique way that you have to take close notice of what is happening or you might not be able to understand what the story is trying to tell you. The story for the screenplay, written by Charles Leavitt, is taken from the novel by Gene Brewer, and is an inspirational type of story, but is also a little weird at the same time.

Then there is the clever use of light in almost every scene of the film, which is one of the important devices that the film has. Prot tells us that light is his form of 'travel' and I believe that having the lighting of the film the way it was, is deliberately trying to say that Prot's 'story' could be true after all. The light used in this movie is different to your average movie, with this side of the movie done particularly well by cinematographer, John Mathieson.

Kevin Spacey is an actor who has taken on roles that are just that little bit different. He was like that in the brilliant 'American Beauty', and he has done it here again. I like how his character wears glasses for almost the entire the movie, in addition to the way that he shows us that everything on earth is 'plain and simple' to him. Yet Prot also gives a very big clue to his strange existence on K-PAX, when he shows his intelligence to some astronomers, in one of the great scenes of the film. Prot also fits in well with all of the patients at the hospital, helping them to become well again. Many of the scenes with the other patients are of a great highlight to the entire movie.

The other main star of the film is Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges) whose character is in a rut, because his family life is not what it could be. Until he meets Prot, he is a doctor who has no real challenges as a psychiatrist, however when he discovers what type of being Prot really is, he continuously dismisses what Prot saying is the 'truth'.

Yet his character leads me on to one part of the movie that I did not like at all, when Dr. Powell hypnotises Prot, to try and understand his strange patient that little bit more. When Prot is under the influence, his character becomes what I would call is 'bizarre'. He also changes, which for me shows how powerful a thing hypnoses can be. Through many sessions of the hypnoses, with a doctor checking over Prot's physical state, exclaiming to Dr Powell that Prot is in 'some sort of danger'. In my opinion, hypnoses is a terrible thing to let anyone do to you, because when you let someone control your mind for any length of time, it could impact on the decisions you make in the future.

K-PAX is a movie that I find to be very original to say the least. I also like the story that it presents and the way that we are challenged to see whether we believe that Prot is a being from another planet or not. Having been treated by a great psychiatrist for a little over a year now, I realises that it is not an easy profession to be a part of. Many movies also show how difficult it can be to treat patients within the psychiatric profession, because they would come up with some weird and wonderful stories. If there were such beings from a planet like 'K-PAX' visiting Earth, it would be weird to see them here on earth. But would we believe their story? I am sure that is a question we would have to ask ourselves many times.


Review by (DAVEYFOO@HOTMAIL.COM) [IMDB 16 March 2003] from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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