Instinct

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Jon Turteltaub
Production: Buena Vista Pictures
  1 win & 2 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.5
Metacritic:
43
Rotten Tomatoes:
27%
R
Year:
1999
126 min
493 Views


1

Dr. Powell, I'm Tom Hanley, U.S.

State Department.

Take the chains off.

He's ours now.

If you have knowledge of a crime, why

don't you go to the police, Annie?

The police are probably

in on it.

You don't know anything

about politics, do you?

You're just a psychiatrist.

You're not versed in this.

Well, I wanna learn.

I wanna know why someone

would wanna kidnap the pope.

I don't want to sit here and have you

try to tell me that this isn't true.

I just... Does it scare you?

The thought that it

might not be true?

No! It doesn't scare me,

because it is true.

They took him seven weeks ago.

They're keeping him on Corsica.

They don't want people

to know that he's missing.

And you're probably gonna say, "Why

Corsica?" No, Corsica makes sense.

Good. Good. It's a

straight shot west of Rome,

about 150 miles.

- Have you ever been there?

- No. But it's on my list.

He's made a partner of her.

You see?

Now, Annie, I want to explore

every possibility.

Now, on the other side

of this page, is it possible...

that this is a photo

of the pope?

Well, it's possible, yeah.

I mean, is it?

Well, I'm just saying,

is it possible that this is a photo of

the pope, taken only eight days ago,

showing him safe in Rome? No!

Has anyone seen that magazine?

Catherine. Catherine.

We're just exploring here,

Annie.

We're just saying...

It's not what you say.

L-Let me see.

Oh, I...

Oh, I don't know.

Very good.

I... I don't...

If you're afraid, then at least you're aware

of the possibility that you might be ill.

Shouldn't he hold her?

Don't get motherly, Gilbert.

We'll discuss notes

this afternoon.

You're late. I was just...

I need you to take my 10:00 class on Wednesday.

Let me see that photo.

That's risky, Theo.

Very risky.

I've been asked to do the evaluation of Ethan Powell.

You remember who he is?

He used to work here.

Anthropology.

Disappeared in Africa.

Killed people.

Yeah, a year ago. Two dead,

three in the hospital.

Mad as a three-cornered hat,

but he's coming home.

We wouldn't want one of our former

professors hanged in Rwanda...

bad press...

so he's coming home.

And the evaluation begins as

soon as he arrives. Which is?

Tomorrow. I need to know everything

about the case in 24 hours,

and I want the research done

by my very best resident.

Ben, that's three-day's work

packed in the next 24 hours.

Well, I guess I wasn't talking about you.

I must've meant Gilbert.

Have him call me at home.

Okay. All right.

Okay. All right, Ben.

Ben, I would be glad

to do the research.

Only if you can handle it.

I can handle it.

That was too easy, Theo.

All right.

This time tomorrow

in my office.

It's locked. Aw, come on!

What? Wait...

Good. Good. You know, I told you

it was the one on the left.

- It's locked!

- It's supposed to be open.

Maxwell, do you copy us?

Come in, Maxwell. Come again.

Maxwell, come in. We're in

the corridor with the Doctor.

- Is it the door on the east or the west side?

- What was that?

- Are you reading this?

- Is something wrong? - No, I didn't copy.

- Is something wrong?

- Mom. Shh. - Foley!

I'm goin' to check this out.

Just relax, all right?

Maxwell, you pickin' this up?

Max. Hey, Doc.

Foley! Stop!

- Foley.

- Get the family out!

Uh, ladies, we need to get

you out of here. What?

Just come with me, please.

What happened?

You know as much as I know at this point.

Let's... This way, please.

Ahh!

It's what the Rwandan

papers called him. Theo.

It's not like any other case, Ben.

Ever.

- You're three hours early.

- It's an amazing opportunity.

Amazing. I have a class in

here in 15 minutes, you know.

Oh, well, you're gonna

want to hear this, Ben.

Tell me.

He killed two Rwandan park rangers

and injured three others...

with a wooden club.

He was studying the animals there, right?

Not anymore.

The party of foresters and rangers

said he walked among them...

part of the animal group.

It's just possible, Ben, that he was

living with the mountain gorillas...

for nearly two years.

With them.

"Noted anthropologist and

primatologist Ethan Powell...

was reported missing

in October 1994."

Lost for nearly two years,

then found.

But when they tried to contact

Ethan, he turned on them.

Like an animal, they said.

They put him in an African prison for a year.

He hasn't spoken a word since his arrest.

So, what do we have here?

He lives with the animals,

takes on their behavior.

Becomes one.

How does that happen? Exactly.

How?

They want a 30-day evaluation, followed

immediately by a hearing with a judge.

I'll give him a day to rest,

then I'll see him on Thursday.

Uh, Ben, there's something

I want to ask you for.

What is it? Ethan Powell.

The evaluation... I want it.

You don't have nearly enough

experience for a case like this.

You know that, don't you?

Why should I give it to you?

Important issues here, Ben. Yes.

One of them is your career,

right?

I mean, a case like this is all about career,

and you've been thinking about that.

It'd be a leap for you.

What if I can get him to speak?

Get Powell to speak?

Ah. You mustn't confuse

a mute murderer...

with little Annie Belden

and her pope fantasy...

or Rondelli the flasher

or any of those.

What if I can?

Well, then you write a best-seller

about it. Am I right?

I'm ready for this, Ben.

Do you have a title yet?

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Gerald Di Pego

Gerald Di Pego was born in 1941. He is a writer and producer, known for Instinct (1999), Phenomenon (1996) and The Forgotten (2004). He has been married to Christine DiPego since 1992. He was previously married to Janet Kapsin. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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