Nearly two years after having gone amiss in Africa, renowned anthropologist Dr. Ethan Powell is caught committing a crime and subsequently imprisoned in a Florida mental institution, where aspiring psychiatrist Dr. Theo Calder takes over his important case. Dr. Powell, who has been with a group of gorillas during all that time, is not talking at all and seems to be living in a dreamworld. Very slowly, Dr. Calder manages to reach Ethan Powell and starts finding out why Ethan killed two of the poachers. Yet Theo's case is not just about why the murders have happened, but also about how Dr. Powell became the being he is in the first place. With Ethan's silence broken, Theo is introduced into a world beyond common human comprehension: The true nature of being. He learns that mankind's control of everything is a mere illusion and that the true values of existence can't be found so easily. Ethan changes Theo's view of things forever.Written by
Julian Reischl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm Dr. Calder. You've been charged with one count of murder and found incompetent to stand trial.
She had a demon in her for a while. My neighbour, Mrs. Karsh.
It would come and go. Nobody saw it... except me.
What did it look like, the demon?
Um... Did you ever see "Alien" with Sigourney Weaver?
It looked like a giant insect?
No. It looked like Sigourney Weaver.
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I entered the theatre having no real idea what "Instinct" was about, but it seemed like a thriller to me, something similar to "The Silence of the Lambs". However, what I expected to be just another murder mystery turned out to be the powerful story of a man who had finally learnt to live.
Dr. Calder is sent to make an evaluation on Dr. Powell, an anthropologist convicted for murdering 5 men in Rwanda. However, when Dr. Powell relates his experience in the African jungle, he starts teaching Theo Calder a thing or two about "civilisation" and "humanity", thus encouraging Theo not only to learn how to live but also to challenge the rules.
The scenes with the gorillas were so realistic, that I only realised later that they were created artificially. Sometimes, I felt like I was actually watching a documentary.
The acting was superb. Anthony Hopkins was excellent as always and Cuba Gooding Jr. was just perfect as his student/friend. The supporting cast was solid as well, especially the prison inmates.
Despite Theo and Dr. Powell's daughter's confusing relationship and the highly improbable ending, "Instinct" has some beautiful movie moments. Dr. Powell's connection with the gorillas as well as his speech to Theo at the zoo are very touching. The scene at the prison where the inmates tear apart their cards, challenging the guards' authority also reminded me of the famous "O Captain, My Captain" scene in "Dead Poets' Society".
All I can say, is that "Instinct" is a rare film. One that does not need tons of action and explosions to be enjoyable but simply talks about something we can all connect too: life!
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