Best of
lMovie Review
By Mira Harber
   There is no such thing as ‘objective’ when it comes to viewing a movie, listening to a concert, or seeing a piece of art - we all bring our own personal experiences and beliefs with us, whatever we do.  K-Pax, the new movie featuring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges, is one of those movies that is particularly effected by our personal beliefs.
   I’ve heard diametrically opposed opinions regarding K-Pax, so much so that in some instances I wondered if the reviewer had seen the same movie I did.
   All that said, K-Pax is the story of a mysterious man Prot (Kevin Spacey) who suddenly appears in Grand Central Station , amidst a beam of light, attempts to help a stranger, and ends up in the Manhattan Psychiatric Institute. 
   Prot becomes the patient of an overworked, spiritually depleted psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges). As we watch their discussions we really wonder ‘Is Prot who he says he is?’ - an alien from a distant planet K-Pax (just discovered by a handful of astro-physicists) or is he a deluded, disturbed wanderer?
   Prot is not the menacing, dangerous type of alien “Don’t worry, I’m not going to leap out of your chest” (obviously he’s seen Alien)-  rather he appears to be the intelligent, detached alien, vaguely bemused by humans, their habits and ideas. 
   As we listen to Prot, and see how he helps the patients in the psychiatric ward of the hospital, we begin to wonder - would you rather talk to the Doctor or to Prot? Who seems to have a better connection with the patients? Who has a better grasp of the universe, in a larger sense, our connections to it, and each other? Who understands what family is better than Prot, who claims to come from a planet where there is no such thing as single families?
   Prot’s story is so convincingly told in such detail that Dr. Powell really begins to wonder...could it be possible? After a meeting with some of the world’s top astro-physicists the Dr. is more, not less confused. 
   In an attempt to show him what ‘normal’ is, Prot is invited to the  Dr.’s home for July 4 celebrations. There are both lovely and frightening scenes that take place during the quintessential American family holiday.
   Is Prot who he says he is? Consider that he can see ultra-violet rays (which humans cannot), can plot the orbit of K-Pax (just discovered), can tolerate amazing amounts of Thorazine and then consider the road trip that Dr.Powell takes to New Mexico to find what could be an entirely human solution to Prot. Or could it? Or did he just ‘borrow’ a human body?
   The ending of the movie appears to be ambiguous - I liked that it didn’t beat us on the head with “this is what you should think/feel now”. Instead, we come to our own conclusions. 
   Kevin Spacey is wonderful as always, and Jeff Bridges plays the overworked, obssessed doctor perfectly. The question of what is real, what is fantasy, what could be real ‘Doctor, I’ll admit I’m human, if you admit I could come from K-Pax’ all make for a movie that gives you plenty to think about days after leaving the theater. I highly recommend this movie for enquiring minds.


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