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Having succumbed to the will of two very strident members of our system and shelled out the cash to see K-Pax, we thought we'd share our thoughts on it with you. We're going to try to avoid plot spoilers, but instead focus on its treatment of multiplicity as an illness. But if you're still planning on seeing the movie and don't want to hear this information yet,
First of all, the alien guy (Prot) was never diagnosed as a multiple. Nor was the possibility ever brought up, unless we missed something.
Addendum, October 2003: IWRC, Prot the K-Pax guy was assumed at one point to have suffered amnesia due to a family tragedy. They showed this by dragging him out to his former home and showing him sob in the river where his daughter drowned, or.......something. We don't quite remember what was supposed to have happened. They never even brought up the possibility that he was multiple. That was a relief.
There was one character in the movie who was supposed to be a multiple. Her name is Maria. We'll talk about her for a bit.
Maria gets almost no screen time, which we actually consider to be a good thing. That's because, when she IS on the screen, her group is used for comedic value. (As are most of the patients, really...) In the scenes they're in, someone is first scantily clad and grinning lecherously at people while announcing "I am not Maria, I am Vanessa", then later someone else is jumping up and down like a child and screaming at an earsplitting pitch. Someone also wanders around in a shower cap with a big grin on her face (We didn't get that one at all...can anyone who saw this tell us what the heck that was supposed to be?) and another curses people out loudly. We never learn any other names; apparently, they didn't consider it important. The instance that made us cringe the most occurred when the foul-mouthed person announces that she's going to K-Pax. One of the other patients snorts and retorts: "Yeah, which one of you?"
Well...to tell you the truth, we expected as much. We're thankful that, as unflattering as the portrayal was, it was a minor, minor part of the movie. The words "multiple personality disorder" were never spoken, unless we missed something again, and there were no buzzwords at all. In fact, Maria's "condition" was never mentioned, except in the lovely words recounted above.
So now, our next step will probably be to write a letter to Universal and asking them to depict a healthy plural group in one of their films. If anyone else is planning to do this as well, would you be interested in collaborating on what to write?
Thank you, enjoy the rest of your weekend.