K-Pax

       

There are no UFO’s, no little green men, and no hostile intentions and yet Kevin Spacey brings something compelling to this role that makes it otherworldly and fixating. This thriller co-starring Jeff Bridges (Iron Man) is one sci-fi movie that you don’t expect.  In fact I don’t know if it is completely accurate to categorize it   as such-because as earnest as the acting is, you may think maybe he is from K-Pax…

 

We are all of a sudden in the bustling Grand Central Station of New York.  All of a sudden the raise from the sun Shawn’s a light on the ground and in the midst of the crowd is Prot (Kevin Spacey). He alights just in time to see a thief grab a women’s purse knocking her  to the ground. As a witness to the crime the police begin to talk to him and sense that something is not totally normal with him. “Your planet is very bright” he comments looking at the rafters of the building and all around. The police feel that he is a psychiatric case and so they take him into custody,  placing him in a NY psychiatric institute where we are introduced to Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges). At first they merely feel that the patient  is delusional,  but Dr. Powell thinks there is more to this story and takes a personal  interest  in this patient.  As tests are run on Prot’s brain the doctors find that he can see in ultraviolet,  “but humans can’t see in ultraviolet…right?” Dr. Powell has a brother-in law that is an astronomer and so he asks him to asses if there is any relevance to what  Prot is saying regarding outer space; and everything that  Prot says is correct. Not only is Prot right, but the knowledge that  he has aids to the explanation of  an irregular  rotation of a binary star.

 

Prot has planned to leave on a specific date- the 27th of July. Prot previously stated that he arrived five years earlier on that same date. Dr. Powell thinks that there is something odd about  this, that the key to Prot’s mental issues lie with an event  that took place on that date; ergo Dr. Powell starts having hypnosis sessions with Prot. As he has these sessions he learns of a traumatic experience that  greatly agitates  Prot whenever  the subject is pressed. The experience involves a friend that had a daughter  and a wife; the daughter  and the wife suffered a tragedy that  causes  Prot to become agitated as he discusses it in this altered state of hypnosis.  As the sessions continue ,  Dr.Powell learns more about this friend-what  line of work he was in and what  the area was like. He learns that he was a knocker-someone who slaughters  cows and that he lived near a river that flowed into a rapid that was located at the base of a cavern like landscape. As Prot goes on and on, Dr.Powell feels that maybe Prot is the friend that he himself is discribing. Maybe Prot is trying to block out whatever event  caused so much pain by creating  this alter persona. Is Prot from the stars or is he a man troubled by the past?

I will have to say that’s your call.

 

A movie like this is one that you realize involved great  thought  process in creating such a good and strong story that will leave you hanging in zero gravity.  This movie doesn’t need any bug-eyed aliens to intrigue and amaze,  rather the superb acting and good story line make this movie worth all 121 minutes.  This movie involves some of the qualities that made Invasion of the Body Snatchers  a good movie. As I said before,  acting ability, not special effects,  serve to make this movie a keeper.

 

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