Natural Enemies


Drama / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6.8 10 222

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
September 05, 2022 at 02:11 PM


Top cast

Louise Fletcher as Miriam Steward
Elizabeth Berridge as Sheila Steward
Hal Holbrook as Paul Steward
Viveca Lindfors as Dr. Baker
915.85 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ElijahCSkuggs 9 / 10

Wiping the slate clean.

Natural Enemies aka Hidden Thoughts, based on a novel by Julius Horowitz, is a serious and incredibly intriguing film that begins with a voice-over narration by the Father/Husband (Hal Holbrook) telling us his reasons why he is heavily leaning towards shooting his manic depressive wife (Louise Fletcher), his three neglected children, and then himself. This is a man at the end of his rope, and you realize the film just began.

Throughout the film he speaks of many topics such as monotony, predictability, disappointment, lack of emotion, connection and love. His words and demeanor are at times sullen, blunt, and always feeling as if thought through entirely. You tag along as he visits a brothel, talks with suspecting friends, and as well watch him struggle and overwhelm himself, others, and the viewer with his thoughts and pessimistic stances. You watch the film in a very uncertain manner, wondering if any of his many interactions will have any lasting affect.

Natural Enemies takes all the correct turns when attempting to feel like a true slice of life, and with such great writing and acting, the film delivers a consistently difficult, at times relatable, and always thoughtful story.

Reviewed by HumanMillipede 10 / 10

Thoroughly powerful and engaging.

This is a film that has been sadly neglected over time. I'm still unsure why it hasn't received a DVD or Blu-Ray release. As a cinematic portrayal of severe and isolating depression it has few peers. It compares favourably with the likes of Taxi Driver as a thorough and focused examination of an articulate yet highly damaged mind.

Hal Holbrook is superb in this film, exemplifying his talent. His character of Paul Steward is by turns sympathetic, disturbing, cruel and intelligent. Only a few years after her role as the monstrous Nurse Ratched, Louise Fletcher puts in a very strong role as Paul's wife, who is loving but woefully poor at communication until it is too late.

Every scene in the film focuses on Paul as he tries to express his rage, frustration and despair to anyone who will listen. His pleas are met with scepticism and well meaning but ultimately useless advice. He seemingly has it all, a family and a high flying job but something about his whole existence and outlook is broken beyond repair. His misguided and half hearted attempts to fix things prove ineffective. The simple and unflashy direction is completely appropriate to the situation at hand.

There's no easy solutions offered by this film which really helps the viewer see Paul's hopeless and detached perspective. The ending is somewhat predictable but in a way is made more powerful because of that, it feels true to the situation depicted. Definitely not a film to warm the heart but as a mature and captivating insight into the horrendously bleak mindsets people can fall into it is entirely worth seeing.

Reviewed by Gymnopedies 9 / 10

'That must be the loneliness that we all carry around.'

I have had the good fortune to have seen a handful of movies that have really stirred an emotion in me - lingered with me for years. 'Natural Enemies' is no different. As a young single man, this film has such a profound effect on me. Never has such a film effected me since I seen 'The Fire Within (1963)'. Paul (played by Hal Holbrook) and Miriam (played by Louise Fletcher) are in a loveless marriage bereft of any happiness. Miriam suffers from clinical depression and was hospitalized several times. Paul is an intelligent middle-aged man who is a magazine editor who has noticed in the papers, many murder-suicides perpetrated by the father - murdering their entire family and then themselves. He pays five hookers to fulfill a final fantasy before killing himself and his family.

'Natural Enemies' is a deeply affecting tour DE force. It does resemble 'My Dinner with Andre (1981)' in that similar issues and ideas are discussed about society and where it is heading. There are many thought-provoking discussions throughout the film where Paul's friends and acquaintances try to reason with him but his counterarguments are so methodical and well-thought out that they have nothing to add. The first of such meetings is with an astronaut about the possibility of him writing an article. What ensues is an intoxicating contemplative discussion about what it was like up on the moon and how that loneliness up there is like the loneliness that we carry around every day. Paul concludes that no matter what you do in your life you will never have a moment up there like that again and how sad that is. Paul meets his friend who is a Holocaust survivor who is frustrated that so many have forgotten the horrors of Nazi Germany and Paul retorts in a thought-provoking statement: "what were you expecting? Outrage? This in 1978 the youth care only about tennis and discos!"...chilling. He gets a Taxi and yet another profound discussion ensues. The taxi-driver states that life in the city has gone to the dogs. The Taxi-driver went to a doctor complaining with a pain in his stomach and his doctor said that it was because of the times. This shouldn't be. He met his friend again, the Holocaust survivor at a diner where his friend was worried about his intentions to kill his family and himself. The survivor was trying to reason with him - to no avail - he said that he knew all too well what death was but Paul said that "life today is not all that different from the Holocaust." That what was the point in continuing when life was misery and what was the point in having children when they don't talk to you? What was the point in running after women and money? At the end of the conversation his friend thought he was getting somewhere with him only for Paul to state that "what is the point in killing myself? I am dead already." Only for his friend to shake his head in disappointment. He couldn't get through to him.

Even thou their marriage was dead, they still needed each other. They still hung on to each other like when Paul found Miriam hysterical on the floor, shouting.."I WANT TO DIE", Paul comforted her. Miriam was frantically trying to stop Paul from killing himself. They needed each other. The would be lost without each other. They fall into each others unhappiness as into a well. At the bottom is a great sun that warms the earth. They are use to conformity and familiarity and you introduce change to their lives and you have introduced the downward spiral. 'Natural Enemies' haunts me. It is sad that it is so unknown. Under 100 votes - it is fair to say that you won't see a film like it again. I certainly won't.

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