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DVD Reviews:  Human Nature

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Peter Parmac
Distributed by:
Magna Pacific
Running Time: 96 Minutes

From the writer of Being John Malkovich Charlie Kaufman comes another bizarre and bewildering creation, a ‘sad comedy’ to quote it’s French director Michael Gondry.  A movie with whose moral is it has no moral or message yet it is played out in a serious fashion as if it does.  Human nature is more about the four main characters human anomalies than the concepts of human freedom and the imprisonment of modern civilisation, which serves only as a backdrop. 

Patricia Arquette plays Lila Jute, a woman who becomes a successful nature writer after living wild in an attempt to escape her embarrassing secret.  She is a wolf girl covered in thick body hair which only constant shaving or electrolysis can remove to allow her to mix with ‘normal’ humans.  Tim Robbins is Nathan Bronfman, a behavioural scientist hopelessly repressed and anal-retentive hoping to make the world a better place through teaching mice the importance of table manners. 

Add Puff, a wild human raised as an ape by his father who thought himself an ape, and is living naked and happy following his primal instincts.  Puff is captured by Nathan who then proceeds to teach him table manners in the pursuit to further his scientific reputation and bring Puff into humanity’s fold.  Nathan begins himself a relationship with Lila but strays with his breathy French research assistant Gabrielle. 

Flashbacks are used to tell the story as Nathan begins the movie dead with a bullet hole in his head, Lila confessing to the murder to police and Puff telling of his plight to a seemingly very interested congress.  There is a delightful series of cameos by two white mice who seem to parallel Puff’s transformation from ape to civilised orator.

The film is a mixture of comedy with characters that are truly tormented in some way, which helps one emphasise with them.  This is an enjoyable but somewhat unnerving spoof into human behaviour although it never becomes preachy and stays solely in the realm of the bizarre.  Recommended to those who want something completely different (or want to see Patricia Arquette completely naked).  Avoid if you have an aversion to shock treatment or male nudity of the less than flattering kind.


DVD visual transfer is crisp and pleasing in a 16X9 anamorphic transfer (widescreen) presentation.


Audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 and is clear but not overly memorable in the surround stakes. 


Extras include a funny trailer, a featurette, and interviews that give some insight into what this movie is all about.  It is interesting to note director Michael Gondry admit to playing a little with the audience in presenting a film that has no real moral but purports to a greater purpose.  Menu format is well presented with a voice over of an annoying female sprouting life lessons on good manners (part of Puff’s re education).    

Human Nature Features

  • Featurette

  • Cast & Crew Interviews

  • Trailers


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