Movie Review – The Man from Earth

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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First things first, the title, it’s The Man from Earth and not A Man from Earth, rightly so. When do we get a chance to see a man who has lived his life till eternity? What a fascinating idea. It’s one of those movies where within 15 minutes you declare the movie is going to be awesome and start thinking about the review. Conversation type movies always bring in a certain amount of curiosity which could not be made with any other type of movies. Being a fan of conversation type of movies I loved every bit of this movie.

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Generally when you see a farfetched concept you feel detached from the movie but here we are in for a pleasant surprise. The transition of the movie from normalcy to supernatural is so smooth. We don’t get a jerk when the protagonist says he’s lived for 14,000 years. Instead we get a smile for what we gonna see. The setup is simple, there are a group of people who could’ve have been anybody. We don’t see people pushed into that group to make things interesting. These people are just like neighbors who have their own opinion. The protagonist too in no way looks superficial. The background is not eerie. The music is soothing. How many times do we get a chance to see all these things getting blended and form a perfect movie.

The movie begins with John Oldman (nice pun there with his name as Sandy notes) getting ready to shift his house. His colleagues show up to give him an impromptu farewell party: Harry (John Billingsley), a biologist; Edith (Ellen Crawford), an art history professor and devout Christian; Dan (Tony Todd), an anthropologist; Sandy (Annika Peterson), a historian who is in love with John; Dr. Will Gruber (Richard Riehle), a psychiatrist; Art (William Katt), an archaeologist; and his student Linda (Alexis Thorpe). As John says he’s got the right audience for him we too tend to think so. But their physical appearance was appealing to me. They weren’t made specifically to look like a doctor or historian or professor.

This story was conceived by Jerome Bixby as early as 1960’s but was finally completed during his death bed in April 1998. We could see the writers experience throughout the film. It’s a writer’s film and he’s brilliantly done so. I saw this film as a thriller. When John starts telling about each and every story it fascinated me. I got to the edge of the seat with curiosity as to know what would happen next. We see a Van Gogh’s painting during the initial few minutes. Only latter we get to know that he got that as a direct present from me. What I doubt is even if he could’ve lived for so many years how he could have met so many celebrities. I don’t say its zero probability but the probability is less. Like what Dan says, John can’t prove everything he says; similarly we can’t disprove everything he says.

I certainly couldn’t think of myself in John’s shoes. I don’t even know what I’d be doing living for so many years. Though I fear death if there is no full stop I don’t know why I would want to live my life to the fullest. There are so many problems if you are going to live ever. We could see that here. I’d like to be John’s friend but for life time. It would be odd when I overgrow him but there would be great many things to learn from him, many things to talk. He’s almost a superhuman with human feelings.

The good thing about this film is it made me believe. John made me believe that he’s a caveman. When he said he had lied I again believed him but didn’t like him. During the climax when he says what he said is not a lie I again believe him. I don’t know whether I got fooled but in this instant I liked getting fooled.

The film certainly made me think. Think about the unnatural, think about the past, the future, people, and their lives. How a sci-fi could be made so well with nothing but dialogues. I get answer to these questions quite beautifully here.

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Comments
  1. […] movies with a decent amount of votes. I find it surprising, as normally not everybody appreciates a dialogue based intellectual […]

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