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It was 2004 or earlier, one of my friends – Vijay Sharma, fond of watching Hollywood movies – gave me a CD. He told me – must watch. Being a rental CD I went home watched the movie without delay. This movie was Instinct staring Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr. Anthony Hopkins is playing an anthropologist – Dr Ethan Powell and Cub Gooding a Psychiatrist –  Dr. Theo Caulder. Ethan studies Gorillas in Africa and is lost in Jungles. After a couple of years caught, as he had murdered two people in Jungle.

The movie starts with Hopkins leaving African jail to fly back to USA. While traveling from jail to the airbase, he is put in a closed enclosure vehicle with two ferocious doberman dogs. When the vehicle reaches airbase and guards open the enclosure, the guards find that the dogs are lovingly and peacefully sitting by Hopkins. What it means? Well, you should watch the movie to find it. But it is a subtle (well prominent) statement of what Dr Ethan Powell (Hopkins) is. After watching this movie way back, I started liking acting of Anthony Hopkins, a wonderful actor indeed. There are other wonderful clips in the movie on which I would write in future, here is one of the clips. You must watch the movie

Between 10th and 11th minute in this clip, the gorilla is trying to open shoe lace of Dr Powell. Whatever the Director wanted to show, to me it was as if the gorilla is saying – “…leave your shackles… You are bound with your own stuff, do not be bound to what you have created. Just leave those jails of your own creation” The following is a dialog of the character Dr Powell (source – script)

… ln there, deep in those forests, away from everything you know, everything you’ve ever been taught… by school or book or song or rhyme, you find peace, Juha, kinship, harmony, even safety. You’ll find more danger in one day in any city in the world… than you will ever find in those forests.

Do you understand that?…

In the end, of the clip Hopkins is calling humans as “takers”. We are the takers! We take stuff from others or nature and try to prove our ownership to it. In the movie clip above Cuba Gooding is a taker by asking for his time, saying “you are free, you can leave now”. In the overall movie he is taking Hopkin’s opinion  for his book, promotion and professional success. In Dr Powell’s words we have taken a lot from the nature and claiming it to be ours – for example the petroleum, land by deforestation etc. Apparently many problems such as depleting underground water is our creation, Uttarakhand flood to name a few.

Lately, I have been working on a project related to sustainability. It was interesting that by chance, I watched the movie instinct once again. We are indeed takers. We have taken a lot from the nature, in many senses destroyed the ecology – natural calamity are results of that. We are the takers – we will die leaving everything here but still we boost our ownership!

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