Watch The Natural
- 2 hr 17 min
The Natural is a 1984 sports drama film directed by Barry Levinson and based on Bernard Malamud's 1952 novel of the same name. The movie stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, a talented young baseball player whose career is sidetracked by a tragedy. The film follows his journey to return to the game and fulfill his destiny as a baseball legend.
The movie begins with a flashback to Hobbs' childhood when he is given a homemade baseball bat by his father. Hobbs is shown to have innate talent for the game, and after his father's death, he leaves his small town in search of fame and fortune in the major leagues. However, on the way to tryouts, Hobbs is shot by a beautiful woman named Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey), who tells him that he will never play baseball again.
Fifteen years later, Hobbs resurfaces as a rookie for the New York Knights, a struggling team in need of a hero. He finds himself in a world of corruption, greed, and betrayal led by the team's owner, Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley), and their star player, the arrogant Roy Hobbs Jr. (Robert Duvall). Hobbs' natural talent catches everyone's attention, and he becomes the last hope for the Knights to win the pennant.
Hobbs' success on the field is not without its challenges. He is confronted by the demons of his past, including Harriet Bird, who resurfaces as a fan and attempts to derail his career once again. Hobbs also struggles with his relationships off the field, including a tumultuous affair with Memo Paris (Kim Basinger), the girlfriend of his teammate.
The Natural is a beautifully shot film, with sweeping imagery and a sense of nostalgia for the golden age of baseball. The score by composer Randy Newman adds to the charm of the film, with its sweeping melodies and poignant themes. The film's climax, which centers around Hobbs' final at-bat in the championship game, is one of the most iconic scenes in all of movie sports history.
Robert Redford delivers a solid performance as Roy Hobbs, exuding a quiet strength and determination that draws the audience in. His chemistry with Glenn Close, who portrays Iris Gaines, the Knights' physician and love interest, is palpable, and their scenes together are some of the strongest in the film. Robert Duvall is brilliantly cast as Hobbs' rival, Van Helsing, and Kim Basinger is perfectly cast as the sultry and manipulative Memo Paris.
The Natural is a story of redemption, love, and the pursuit of the American dream. It features all the elements of a classic sports film: a hero with a past, triumph over adversity, and a grand finale. However, it is more than just a sports movie. It is a beautifully crafted film that transcends the genre and speaks to the human spirit.
In closing, The Natural is a must-see movie for fans of baseball and cinematic storytelling. It is a film that has stood the test of time and remains relevant today, nearly four decades after its initial release.
The Natural is a 1984 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 17 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 61.