This is a satirical comedy that basically takes a look at how we behave when confronted with people who are ‘different’ – women with rather too much body hair (and when i say to much, believe me!!!) or men who act like chimps. Underlying this it looks at how we consider that the only way to live is our type of living. But the best part is that the movie takes a dig at the people who believe in the nobility of savages and how we are all better if only we live in the pristine wilderness.
I have always been irritated by enthusiastic idealists who believe that somehow animals are much more noble than us because they don’t commit genocide. As if animals don’t kill each other for territorial gains – that’s Lebensraum for you!!! In any case make those animals go through civilization and make them realize that power opens all doors, they would go the same path…It happened to us didn’t it? Anyway man started feeling nostalgic about nature only when we had beaten it (and i don’t mean tsunamis or earthquakes). And I have always found the attitude to escapist and Luddite. Which is perhaps I enjoyed the movie so much (especially the very end – the two mouse part!!)
The movie stars Tim Robbins (as Nathan) who as usual acts terrifically, as a scientist who is obsessed with table manners and the right way to do anything. Patricia Arquette (as Lila) is a woman with a disorder – she has too much hair. Rejected by society early, she takes refuge and solace in the wilderness and she always identifies with it. Nathan and Lila get together (Nathan does not know about the hair just yet) and on a hike, they find Rhys Ifans (Puff), a man raised in the wild and ‘untouched’ by civilization. Tim takes him as a human guinea pig and starts to test whether he can teach him civilization.
The story that follows is one of experiments, discovery, betrayal and adultery and all this while Puff becoming a mini-celebrity due to his Mowgli turned gentleman status. Lila rebels and seeks to ‘retrain’ Puff into his ‘rightful’ habitat. A murder happens and a sacrifice is chosen and a ‘deep’ understanding is made.
However, the best part about the movie is the last part – the climax where the ultimate ‘betrayal’ is shown. That last part makes the whole movie complete. I put betrayal in apostrophes because the betrayal itself is nothing but ‘human nature’…
A good movie to watch – for the acting, the script and overall for the deep satire.