Enough (2002) Movie: It is 2023. I woke up this morning watching a BBC reel where a woman didn’t give up fighting back her attacker. You couldn’t think of that back then in 2000. And rightly so. In 2002, ‘Enough,’ an American thriller by Michael Apted, was underrated as it handled this delicate issue.
An adaptation of a 1998 novel by Anna Quindlen, ‘Black and Blue.’ Underrated because legislation regarding domestic violence was being changed only in the 19th century, led by the first-wave feminism movement. Despite the fact that in 1850, Tennessee became the first state in the US to outlaw wife beating, it needed time to be implemented and rescue victims of domestic violence.
Therefore, Apted’s Enough was too early for the patriarchal audience to grasp that there was something amiss in their attitude and mindset that desperately needed an alteration.
Enough (2002) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
Challenge Accepted & Won
Mitch Hiller (Billy Campbell) and Robbie (Noah Wyle) challenge each other so that they hit on Slim (Jennifer Lopez), who works as a waitress at Red Car Diner in Los Angeles and gets married to her, and eventually has a baby. Everything takes place as planned. Mitch wins the challenge but takes it too far after the marriage.
He purchases an expensive house for himself and their little daughter Gracie (Tessa Allen). They live a happy life until Slim comes to know that Mitch has been cheating on her. Slim, unable to bear the rejection, want to leave Mitch. But then, considering he is the sole owner of the house and the one who possesses Slim and Gracie, he doesn’t allow them to leave. He also states that he will not stop his affairs.
Mitch the Superior & Slim the Inferior
Fortunately or unfortunately, Slim informs about the abuse to the unsympathetic Mitch’s mother, Mrs. Hiller (Janet Carroll), who repeatedly asks Slim what she did to be beaten by Mitch. Slim, thereafter, confides in her friend Ginny (Juliette Lewis), who advises her to leave him and press charges. Mitch gets to know that Slim conversed about the abuse to his mother, breaching their privacy.
On the receiving end, Slim reverts, stating that privacy is dead, along with chivalry and fidelity. Mitch now educates Slim on how he is a determined man who always gets what he wants. Whether it was to marry Slim in the first place or to buy the house or the company or the baby. He also throws a choice at Slim: to be with or fight him. Slim chooses happiness over the choices offered by Mitch.
Slim gauges the possibility of breaking free from Mitch; she goes to the cops to find out but is disappointed that they will not be able to do much. She feels that there is nothing she can do but escape from Mitch. Enlisting help from her friends, regardless of Mitch foiling the plan, Slim manages to break out from the clutches of Mitch.
Slim Trying to Turn a New Leaf
Having escaped the monster, Slim experiments to make a new beginning but is met with interruptions at every end by Mitch. At a motel, Mitch breaks in. At Joe’s (Dan Futterman), an old friend’s place, Mitch sends men who pose as FBI and threaten Joe. When Slim goes to her affluent and disaffected father, Jupiter (Fred Ward), she is also threatened by Mitch’s associates. He never responds to her letters, considering that she is just after his money, but on this occasion, Slim gets the help she needs most.
Jupiter realizes that her life is in danger and resorts to help her with money. Slim begins a new life altogether with a new identity. But even there, Mitch tracks her down, and luckily Slim takes a flight as she had already prepared. After having tried all possible ways to rescue herself, she consults a lawyer who, yet again, reminds her that she can do very little other than just surrender to her husband.
But Slim is not the one who gives up. She sends her daughter Gracie for a trip with Ginny and hides in San Francisco Slim trains in Krav Maga self-defense. This comes of assistance to her while facing Mitch, who considers it an unfair competition because Slim is a woman and he is a man. But eventually, Slim wins, and Mitch loses. There wouldn’t be any problem if Mitch had created a safe space for Slim and adored her with the happiness she deserved.
Enough (2002) Movie Ending, Explained:
Why is Slim Escaping from Mitch and Going to Seattle to an Old Friend, Joe?
Trust is essential for any relationship to thrive. And thereafter, one needs to feel secure and safe in the presence of the other. Slim begins her relationship with Mitch with this idea in mind. That she will feel safe around and about Mitch. But when she learns that he is cheating on her, she realizes something is wrong. Matters grow worse when Mitch imposes himself and his rules upon her. Mitch develops into a monster and reveals his true colors. Slim no longer finds herself safe around Mitch and tries several ways to escape this psychological prison and physical and mental turmoil.
Slim flees from Mitch and wants to be with Joe, with whom she feels safe and secure. And Joe, for sure, is someone who would take care of her. Joe supports her all through. Slim badly needed a friend who would bring joy to her life just by one’s mutual presence and give her the happiness that she longed for. Slim wants her daughter not to be a victim of any abuse nor wants her daughter to have any negative influence on her father. She cares so much that she doesn’t want Gracie to find out that there is something wrong with her father.
After many years, why is Slim visiting her father, who doesn’t even remember her as his daughter?
Slim is actually trying to resolve issues with her father. A father who didn’t bother about her and her mother. A father who didn’t care about Slim because of illicit relationships and the patriarchy that he was influenced by. Slim visits her father, Jupiter, to remind him that she tried to connect with him, but he hardly cared. She wants him to realize and make him feel awful to know that he didn’t do anything when her daughter came asking for help. She even returns the chain that she has of her father.
But after assessing the situation and imagining the threats, Jupiter realizes that Slim is in great trouble and decides to help her with the money. She buys a new house and tries to live a happy life with a new identity. Jupiter assures her of any more help she desires in the future. The money he sends supports her in preparing herself to flee in case of an emergency. The visit of Slim to her father did work out beneficial. But a talk on a phone call between Mitch and his daughter Gracie proved to be fatal. Gracie listens to Mitch’s abuse of Slim and becomes scared of her father. Drastically ending the wonderful relationship that Mitch and Gracie could perhaps have.
Sending Gracie, her daughter, away, why does Slim go into hiding in San Francisco?
Slim sends Gracie away for a tour with Ginny so that she can prepare herself to face the monster and end it once and for all. She trains under a Self-Defense Instructor (Bruce A. Young) in Krav Maga. Krav Maga is an Israeli Martial Art that combines several other techniques of boxing and karate. Krav Maga helps Slim to build the stamina to defend and attack the man Mitch continuously. Mitch thinks he is strong enough to fight back since he is a man. But Slim gives him enough competition. He thinks he will win but loses terribly.
Slim leaves him incapacitated, and the moment she wants to kill him, she realizes that she is not a murderer and will never become one because all she wanted was to show Mitch that she can fight back. But Mitch, man and coward that he is, fights back, but Slim peacefully and calmly, as guided, strikes Mitch. She targets attacking points, uses simple repetitive strikes, develops muscle memory, and with an instinctive response to stress, beats Mitch unconscious and knocks him off the balcony to his death.
During the time in hiding, Slim empowered herself and chose to award herself with the happiness she merits. She also learned to say no to someone who considered her inferior to him and treated her like a doormat. Enough is a movie that gives a roaring voice to the silenced.