A few days ago there was news that a feature film is going to be made with both Batman and Superman characters. I was reading a related article on a comic-con forum when on the side navigation bar I saw a link where I noticed the name ‘The Man from Earth’. At first I thought it was the Keanu Reeves movie ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’. I knew about the Keanu Reeves movie, but haven’t watched it (not yet). So I checked the title on IMDB. It not just turned out to be a different movie, but it was voted by a lot of users (76 thousand) and had a good rating too. It caught my attention, and I got that movie that day.
It had been over a week since I got that movie but haven’t watched it yet. A couple of hours ago I was looking for any gulte (nonsensical, formulaic entertainer) movie to watch, but I couldn’t find one that I haven’t already seen. So I played this one instead.
‘The Man from Earth’ is an intensely engaging movie. The story starts with a Professor named John Oldman meeting his colleagues and friends for one last time before he leaves town. Everyone is intrigued to know why John was leaving, and are taken aback when he reveals that he has been walking the face of the earth for 14,000 years. What follows is a series of conversations where John’s audience try to find a crack in his story, but are dismayed/delighted as John answers to each of their questions.
Ten minutes into the movie and I was pulled into a black hole of interesting conversations. The premise the story is based on, the hypothesis it makes and especially the characters that are involved have been brilliantly carved and aptly placed. What is interesting to note is that even though the conversation between the characters appears to be random in the beginning, it does follow a specific structure. As the protagonist keeps sharing his perspective you notice a change in his audiences reaction and enthusiasm. Denial, delight and doubt is shown through different characters. This pattern reminded me of the classic “12 Angry Men”, but of course there is no other comparison. And there is a twist as well. Okay, not just one :).
Now with sci-fi movies following the much tried and tested formulas (tackling the ultimate apocalypse), this movie comes as a breath of fresh air. The acting was immensely good especially David Lee Smith as John Oldman was amazing and the run-time just about right. This is by far one of the most unusual and thoughtful sci-fi movies I had seen.
End of the line. Everybody off. Now go watch the movie.