K-PAX – Ending Explained & Film Analysis

K-Pax: about an alien guest or a madman?

Kevin Spacey has recently found himself in Hollywood persona non grata: his admission as gay, coupled with accusations of a huge number of people in sexual harassment, pops up in conversations much more often than the names of excellent films with his participation. With a very outstanding participation, I must admit: Spacey does not cease to be a good actor even if somehow it is confirmed that he is not a very good person. And the painting “Planet Ka-Pax” is, without a doubt, one of the most significant projects in which he took part.

Capexian who knows what is beyond the reach of the inhabitants of the earth

Appearing at the station out of nowhere and puzzling a large number of psychiatrists, Prot seems surprisingly healthy and adequate. What he says and does sometimes looks a little strange due to the bias in the supposedly alien origin, but nothing more. Overall, Prot is perhaps even more intelligent than many people outside the mental hospital.

Prot appeared at the station as if from a stream of light

Prot appeared at the station as if from a stream of light

Writings in a strange language, eating fruit along with the skin, constant equanimity and spontaneity only fuel interest in Prot on the part of psychiatrist Mark Powell. The strange ambivalent impression is reinforced by the successful care the Capexian has given to other patients in the clinic. At the same time, he seems to be doing nothing special and strange: he simply asks questions that for some reason have not been asked before, and talks about things that for some reason have not been discussed before.

Prot disappears for three days, after which he calmly appears in the garden and declares that he has been absent from traveling.

Prot disappears for three days, after which he calmly appears in the garden and declares that he has been absent from traveling.

Of course, what is most confusing is the unusual patient’s extremely accurate account of the location of his home planet. If everything else, it would seem, can still be somehow invented, played and imitated, then how did the man find out about the star system, the very possibility of the existence of planets in which was discovered quite recently? Prot is not known by any of the astrophysicists who agreed to talk with him, and he certainly did not take part in any scientific research in this area. In a word, as the events of the film develop, not only his psychiatrist, but also the audience begins to doubt the “ill health” of the patient.

Forget about the tragedy, rewrite yourself cleanly

If you don’t remember the details of the film, it’s worth mentioning how Mark Powell got to the bottom of the most likely Capexian identity. By plunging the patient into deep hypnosis, he discovered clearly human memories. The doctor was able to figure out that Prot is most likely Robert Porter. Robert had a wife and a little daughter. Once a criminal, recently released from prison, made his way into the Porter’s house and raped Robert’s wife, after which he killed both her and her daughter. The man, who was at home soon after, managed to grab the rapist and kill him, and then committed suicide by drowning in the river.

However, Robert’s body was never found, which is why Powell made a completely logical assumption that Prot is Porter. In connection with this sad story, the words of the extraterrestrial that the Ka-Pax allegedly lacks the institution of the family are of particular importance.

This is what the house where the Porter family once lived in looks like.

This is what the house where the Porter family once lived in looks like.

The fact that people are capable of not only suppressing, but even correcting difficult memories or completely replacing them with fictitious images has been proven many years ago. Nevertheless, deep psychological trauma and the way the human psyche reacts to such incidents is always an open topic for study. The originality of each individual case is so great that, despite the presence of an impressive theoretical base, you can always face a patient who literally takes you by surprise. This is exactly what happened to Mark Powell.

A planet on which the concept of a family is absurd

None of the living people have access to the possibility of absolute zeroing. We cannot simply erase everything that we are and start life anew, or write some other person into the vacant place. All situations in which a person seems to have lost all connections with his essence seem to be so only at first glance. In reality, something that links his present with his past still remains somewhere. The only question is how deep and far this something is hiding, and how well it is guarded by protective mechanisms.

During a conversation with a psychiatrist, Prot lays out the basics of social order on Ka-Pax in the most believable way.

During a conversation with a psychiatrist, Prot lays out the basics of social order on Ka-Pax in the most believable way.

Robert Porter was originally a man with far from the happiest destiny, but at least he had something to live and fight for: a family. As difficult as it was, as scary as it was, he knew that he was doing everything for the sake of his family, and that even on the most difficult day, he could return to his wife and daughter, making this day a little more pleasant. But all this: the meaning of life, a safety cushion, a reliable rear – they were barbarously taken away from him. And there was nothing left. In such a situation, the decision to commit suicide naturally seems to Robert the only possible way out.

And he really did it: even if his body survived, Porter tried with all his might to get rid of everything that makes up its essence. Including, from attachment to the family, from its significance and importance in life. That is why his statements that there are no families on Ka-Pax, and that children are raised by society, can be considered confirmation of the version of mental illness. From an unattainable depth, the life story of Robert Porter nevertheless determined certain nuances of the creation of Prot, since it could not be otherwise.

But what about the disappearance of Bess?

When Prot falls into a catatonic stupor, Bess, whom the Capexian chose to fly with him to his home planet, disappears from the clinic. Of course, if you really want to believe that the man was really an alien, then you can use this as proof of your version of the perception of the film. But, on the other hand, it will not be superfluous to note that the girl could disappear from the clinic in many other ways, of which teleportation to another planet is the least likely.

"Departure" Prot is preceded by a holiday on which he chooses who will go to Ka-Pax with him

“Departure” of Prot is preceded by a holiday on which he chooses who will go to Ka-Peks with him

In addition, the “hop-off” takes place on July 27th, exactly five years after Robert Porter lost his wife and daughter. Obviously, this cannot be just a coincidence. Even if Prot does not remember in detail what happened to Robert Porter, he does not associate his life story with his own, but he continues to use the surviving fragments of his memories even when he tries to maintain the legend of Ka-Pax. And the unconditional belief in this legend on the part of other patients, that is, people a priori not too sane, acts as a rather illustrative confirmation of the inconsistency of this theory.

Powell continues to care for Proteth even after he disappears: after all, the Capexian asked him to take care of Robert.

Powell continues to care for Proteth even after he disappears: after all, the Capexian asked him to take care of Robert.

However, everyone is free to see in this picture exactly what he likes best. In any case, she will definitely make every viewer think about the reality of the unreal and the unreality of the real.

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