Not of this World
Thomas Jerome Newton (David Bowie) seemed to appear from nowhere and with just a collection of rings starts to amass a minor fortune whilst with his superior intelligence starts creating several designs. Before long Mr. Newton approaches lawyer Oliver Farnsworth (Oliver Henry) to look over his ideas and seemingly over night a multi-million dollar is in operation. For Mr. Newton all of this is to make money to build a spaceship and travel back to his planet with a supply of water. But as Mr. Newton gets caught up in the way of the world and falls for a woman by the name of Mary Lou (Candy Clark) his priorities change and the wits which helped make him a fortune start to vanish
When you look for reviews of "The Man Who Fell to Earth" I will guarantee that you will stumble over 2 viewpoints. One of those viewpoints will focus on David Bowie and these tend to have been written by fans of Bowie who eulogise about the actor's looks and his performance. And yes it is impossible not to be impressed by Bowie's detached characterisation of Mr. Newton bringing plenty of oddity to him but not too much to feel too alien.
The other viewpoint you will definitely come across is those who praise the direction of Nicolas Roeg to not just capture the odd nature of the movie's story but also capture the surroundings. And there is no denying that Roeg certainly delivers interesting imagery which for many is the perfect match for Bowie's chiselled features and sculptured hair. Although at times Roeg's vision seems a little too out there and seems more like he was trying to prove a reaction with some of his more explicit scenes and there are a few.
But if you look you will also find a few reviews which basically say "WTF?" as the reviewers have struggled with the unusual nature of this movie and as such to see what others see in it. The thing is that I can appreciate why fans of Bowie would champion it whilst those who enjoy the artistic and unusually nature of a Roeg movie adore it. But for me I watch a movie to be entertained and whilst in parts "The Man Who Fell to Earth" entertains as a whole it left me struggling to keep interested in it due to the focus on being curious and artistic.
What this all boils down to is that "The Man Who Fell to Earth" is not for everyone and for those who are not fans of David Bowie or movies with a strong artistic bent they may find this too quirky to really get into.