Projections - Movie Reviews

K-PAX

K-PAX

Kevin Spacey gives the kind of performance that makes you believe that within the blink of an eye, he would be capable of leaving Earth and traveling light years to his home planet, K-PAX.

Prot (Spacey) is picked up by police at Grand Central Station proclaiming he is from another planet, so they take him to a psychiatric hospital where Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges) takes his case.

During his sessions with the Doctor, Prot tells of his home and that he plans to return on a specific date in the near future.  He's an odd bird and sometimes so convincing, that soon he has most around him checking to see if he really will be taken up into the atmosphere to places unknown.

Prot moves his head with bird like jerkiness (much like Bridge's in Starman).  He's a gentle soul who makes friends with all of the other patients; the obsessive compulsive man, a woman who refuses to leave her room, and a man who's afraid of germs, all of them are so enthralled with Port's wonderful description of his planet, they beg to go along with him when he returns to K-PAX.

In fact, even Dr. Powell becomes obsessed with his strange new patient who wears sunglasses indoors and eats bananas, peal and all.  Powell questions him about every facet of life on K-PAX and with Prot's knowledge of the exact location of his planet, including its placement in a nearby galaxy (a fact that had just been discovered by a few top astronomers), Powell believes that maybe this guy isn't "delusional" after all.

Powell spends more and more time with Prot trying to figure out how he became like this, and his already strained marriage takes a back seat to his engrossing work.

Bridges is realistic as the overworked and overwrought doc, and Spacey, as usual, gives energy and charisma to his extraterrestrial character.

Director Iain Softley, working hand-in-hand with cinematographer John Mathieson (Gladiator), uses light in a special way.  The space travel/light theme is punctuated over and over again with splashes of light.  Sunlight peeping through trees at a backyard barbecue, light coming through the slats of a Venetian blind and rainbow colors refracting from a crystal paperweight on the doctor's desk, are just some of the unique ways it is emphasized by the camera.

I enjoyed the mystical, inexplicable quality of the film along with the wonderful performance of Bridges and Spacey, which make this a special experience.

 
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K-PAX
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