The surprise Ben Kingsley alien adventure taking Netflix by storm
(Credit: Netflix)


The surprise Ben Kingsley alien adventure taking Netflix by storm

A surprise alien saga has quietly sneaked into Netflix and shot right to the global top ten films list in its debut week.

Jules has skyrocketed to the fifth spot on Netflix’s top ten films chart globally despite only being available to stream in South, Central, and Caribbean American regions. With an impressive 6.7 million hours viewed in its debut week, the film is in the top ten in 21 countries, from Argentina to Venezuela.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub and written by Gavin Steckler, Jules features an ensemble cast led by the legendary Ben Kingsley alongside Harriet Sansom Harris, Zoë Winters, Jade Quon, and Jane Curtin. 

The film’s unexpected success can be attributed to its unique blend of science fiction, comedy, and slice-of-life drama.

So what is the Netflix film Jules about?

The plot revolves around Milton Robinson (played by Kingsley), a 79-year-old widower living a quiet life until a UFO lands in his backyard, unleashing a small humanoid alien named Jules. 

Despite Milton’s attempts to seek help from the authorities and his daughter, he is dismissed as senile. Undeterred, Milton befriends Jules, who is revealed to possess telepathic powers. As they embark on a mission to repair Jules’s spaceship, the unlikely trio, joined by Sandy (Harriet Sansom Harris) and Joyce (Jane Curtin), find themselves entangled in a series of comical and heartwarming adventures.

Is there any link between Jules, ET, and Satyajit Ray’s The Alien?

The plot of the film will sound familiar to those who are aware of Satyajit Ray’s The Alien (also called Bonku Babur Bondhu, translated: Mr Bonku’s Friend). The Indian auteur had plans of making his Hollywood debut with this story, but it never materialised eventually. Accusations that Steven Spielberg got the idea for ET from Ray’s The Alien have followed the Schindler’s List director for long. 

Spielberg denied the accusation, saying he “was a kid in high school when his script was circulating in Hollywood,” as per a report by The Hindustan Times. However, Ray was definitive when he said that ET would “not have been possible without my script of The Alien being available throughout America in mimeographed copies”.

You can watch Jules on Netflix in select countries, but you can catch the trailer right here: