K-PAX review by Dhyana Kearly
- Pamplin Media
- Central Oregonian - News
Kevin Spacey plays Prot, a resident of the planet K-PAX, disguised as a scruffy looking human being visiting earth. We first meet Prot in busy New York City's Grand Central Station. He mysteriously appears on the scene, presumably on a beam of light, right into the wrong place at the right time. Or was it?
Prot's unaccountable presence at the scene of a crime is enough to get him arrested and transferred to the local mental hospital. Here he meets psychiatrist Dr. Mark Powell, played by Jeff Bridges. Powell is totally convinced that he's seen everything that's possible in the mental health field, until he meets Prot. He's also way too busy in his life to take time for the people who should matter to him, namely his wife and two children. In fact, he's so busy and distracted that he doesn't even realize he's too busy and distracted.
Along comes Prot, a `very convincing delusional' who proceeds to blow away all preconceptions that Powell has about patients, relationships and mental health. Over the course of time, Powell is drawn into the life of Prot, and convinced that, more than anything else, he wants to help him. But, it seems that Prot is the one doing most of the helping in this story.
Fellow patients soon rally around Prot's stories about K-PAX like moths to a flame. Through their enthusiasm for Prot's descriptions of life on other worlds, they are subsequently influenced to move away from the mental illnesses they are trapped in to embrace a bigger picture of life. Ultimately, their motive for making these dramatic personal changes is to get the chance to leave earth and go to K-PAX with Prot. But, only one person can go.
Meanwhile, Powell is convinced that Prot is actually a `normal' person suffering from some extreme unknown trauma and becomes increasing convinced that he needs to find out what that trauma was before Prot's departure day, or else.
K-PAX is presented in such a way as to make viewers draw their own conclusions about what's really going on. Those conclusions will no doubt vary from person to person. Whether you sit through this film and decide that Prot really is an alien, or simply a man suffering from the pain of great loss, you'll probably enjoy it either way.
Although it gets a bit long in places, it's still a fun movie to go to and one that's well worth the price of admission and pop corn.
**** K-PAX is rated PG-13 for a sequence of violent images, and language, and sensuality