Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Man Who Fell to Earth

David Bowie is not unknown to make strange movies. While that doesn't necessarily mean they are poorly made films, it just means they aren't always everyone's cup of tea. So I wasn't expecting anything different from him when watching this, and rightfully so. I will try to summarize it as short as I can: The Man Who Fell to Earth is based on the book of the same name, written by Walter Tevis. It features a man (Newton) from a distant planet (which isn't entirely specified in the film), who is sent to Earth to bring water back to his home, since his planet has run out of it, and they are apparently entirely dependent on it as humans are. Fortunately, Newton has a lot of knowledge of new, useful technologies which have not yet been discovered yet by Earth. He trades this knowledge for money and power, in hopes of being able to somehow get some water back to his dying people. In doing so, Newton is slowly corrupted by his newly-found wealth and fame, and it distracts him from his important mission, the reason he is on Earth in the first place. During his stay, he becomes an alcoholic (arguably) a sex-addict, and even a television addict. Eventually, the government finds out he is an alien, and they kill off his primary business partners, who were his only hope for funding his mission. They then hold him captive for several weeks for "testing", until, they eventually become bored of him and they let him go. After all the time that has passed Newton looks just as young as when he first arrives, and everyone around him is obviously aging and growing old. Despite this, Newton is now broke and alone in the world. Now that his secret is out, his girlfriend left him, his business partners are dead, and his friends have abandoned him. His once superior and valuable knowledge is now irrelevant. His mission eventually becomes a lost cause to him, and he gives up on it entirely.