The Natural Review The Natural is a fantasy like story of a middle-aged pitcher trying to make one last comeback as a right fielder for the New York Knights. Directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, The Natural is a feel good movie that is hardly believable at times, but does a lot to provide a worthwhile movie experience. In todays movie review I will illustrate what I think this movie does well in terms of viewer enjoyment, while analyzing specific themes such as the pursuit of a second chance and the role that women seem to play in Hobb’s success on the field.
As a young man, Roy Hobbs was destined for greatness. Early scenes of his father teaching him lessons about confidence and concentration would bode well later on in his career with the New York Knights. On the verge of success after striking out “The Whammer” who most viewers would draw a parallel with The Great Bambino, Babe Ruth, Hobbs becomes the victim of an attempted murder/suicide by a devilishly beautiful woman he meets on a train. The injury puts Hobbs dreams of becoming the greatest ever to a screeching halt.
However, as many years go on, Hobbs gets a hance at redemption when his reluctant coach Pop puts him on the field after seeing him crush homers in practice. Hobbs quickly becomes the good luck charm of his team and what was once a ball club contagious with losing, now had a fghting chance at the playoffs thanks to their star right fielder. As Hobbs god-like status escalates, he soon enters a slump after progressively spending more time with the diabolically evil, Memo Paris. Pop tries to warn him that she’s bad luck, but the temptation of her beauty is too much to stay away from.
Much like the woman on the train that once swept him off his feet, Just to shoot him to the ground, Memo’s ulterior motives keep Hobbs from remaining focused on the one real passion in his life. After removing the temptation from his life, he begins to find success again as the Knights steamroll into the playoffs. Towards the end of the film, Hobbs becomes reacquainted with his once childhood sweetheart Iris Gaines when she comes to one of his games. They begin to rekindle their old flames as Hobbs eventually learns that Iris is the other of their child.
All of this seemed a little unrealistic to me personally and the fact that Iris waits until the final game of his career to tell him seemed pretty over the top. Nonetheless, the love that Hobbs and Iris share is true and faithful, adding to Hobb’s on field success, unlike the other women in his life. Although The Natural is a film about redemption and the long winding road that comes with being a legendary baseball player, the true heart of the film lies in the roles of women and how they affect Roy Hobbs career.
Baseball enthusiasts will surely see the lack of realism that lies in Hobb’s on field antics, but if you can look past that and dig deeper into the film, there is much enjoyment to be had within the narrative. What The Natural lacks in realism, it makes up for in creativity and fantasy-like story telling. After watching The Natural, the plot felt like a bedtime story a father might tell his son during a restless night. Filled with magical moments and over the top action, the story of Roy Hobbs leaves viewers wlt n a nappy enalng toa mytn Ical Oaseoall adventure. 6/