Willem and Todd make a film about Willem’s encounters with aliens. An X-Files premise turns into a heartwarming tragicomedy about likeable outsiders.
Willem Koda is a lonely weirdo who gives poorly attended lectures on the aliens he encountered when he worked for the government. Together with his only friend Todd, he decides to make a film about his experiences. Easier said than done, especially when your intended lead actress turns out to have a rather jealous boyfriend. Tragicomedy, based on an X-Files-style premise, affectionately brings its bungling characters to life.
What makes Man Underground such an effective and warm film, is its characters, which are full of contradictions and relatable flaws. Willem, who is so busy wrestling with himself and life that he is rude to everyone around him; the ambitious, cheerful and emotionally resilient waitress Flossie; the kindly Todd who trots after Willem; and even Flossie’s boyfriend Francis has more compassion than you would think at first glance. Although Willem is fully convinced of the existence of extraterrestrial life, Man Underground is first and foremost a film about likeable outsiders who each in their own way try to find their place in the world.