26 January 2011 | ElijahCSkuggs
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.