Review of ‘Robin Wish’: A Wrenching Look in Robin Williams’s Last Days


In “Robin Wish”, the comedian’s widow, Susan Schneider Williams, a documentary about Robin Williams’ last days, recalls the first time she could tell something that she was seriously off. Robin called him from Vancouver, where he was shooting the third “Night at the Museum” film, and he couldn’t calm himself down. He was having a panic attack over the fact that he could not remember his lines; At times, he had trouble remembering even a single line of dialogue. This was not a problem he had ever had before, and given that he was one of the most mentally agile people ever created, you can see how annoying it can be. Sean Levy, the “Night at the Museum” director, remembers Robin saying, “I don’t know what’s going on. I’m not there anymore. Levy says his brain wasn’t firing at the same speed.” . That spark was reduced. ”

Susan also tells a story of how the night before they were planning to visit Mort Sahl, the classic comic that was a castle of Robin, Williams became obsessed, in the middle of the night, with the fear that Death was not right. He had to go check on it. They started sending him text messages, and since they did not return (death, in all probability, were asleep), they took it as evidence that things were not right. “It was a normal night for us,” Susan says. She recalls that Williams said in the midst of his stupor, “I just want to reboot my mind.”

“Robin’s Wish,” which deals with the slow creep of Williams’ decline during the final months of his life, is a documentary that is honest and creepy, wrenching and moving. It is a portrait of the artist in the form of a brave, joyful, wounded soul. It is also a diary of Robin Williams who is slowly losing his mind.

When Williams committed suicide on August 11, 2014, he had about six months in his ordeal. Her symptoms had gradually worsened – cognitive decline, loss of movement in her left arm – but she had a brain scan that turned up nothing. One diagnosis he received during this time was a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. They were told that it was quick and mild. It was certainly a disastrous thing, but Williams knew that something else was wrong. He asked his doctor, “Do I have Alzheimer’s? Do I have dementia? Am I a schizophrenic? He could understand that the center was not holding, but he hardly had words to describe that feeling. And even when he took his own life, he did not know what it was. He just felt himself slipping.

It was only during an autopsy that doctors learned that he was suffering from Lewy body dementia, a degenerative condition with many similarities to Alzheimer’s, although it caught on more quickly. In the film, the director of the Center for Memory and Aging at UCSF, Dr. Bruce Miller explains how Lewy body dementia works, using phrases such as “misfolding of proteins with neurons”. Essentially, neurons degenerate, a syndrome that goes beyond the brain stem, affecting every aspect of the experience: sleep, mood, cognition. The disease, he says, is “progressively irreversible, unstoppable and always fatal.” Susan Williams states that “If we had an accurate diagnosis of Levi’s body dementia, it alone would have given her some peace.” But looking at the documentary you may wonder if this is so. Robin Williams had the sensibility to feel what is happening to him, and part of the film’s devastation is that it is unclear if more knowledge would have slowed down his agony.

The films celebrate who Robin Williams was: associative genius with a free computer mind, kind soul who not only poured out his thoughts, but his emotions, a deeply vulnerable middle-aged man who succumbed to drug addiction Were. And divorce and taboo fame, and who met Susan outside an Apple store. The 12-stage show, which they were both in, and tied to many things, including “Robin Wish”, presents us with a compelling vision of their wedding – we see a bevy of photos of private sloppy Robin , Which has never been preferred by normal people with more radiation.

They lived in Marin, north of San Francisco, because Williams wanted an actual neighborhood (as opposed to the gated-community aspect of LA he felt). He was good friends with many of his neighbors, who are interviewed here. He ran a bike and ran with them; He was next door. But one of those neighbors tells the story of how Robin showed up at his house in the past months, asking if he could see the boats through the back window, and he just frozen for 10 minutes Looked at that window.

Directed and filmed by Tyler Norwood, “Robin’s Wish” does not seek to be the full-on portrait that was Marina Zenovich’s HBO documentary “Robin Williams: Less Inside My Mind”. Yet it uniquely hits the hitstone of the Williams saga: the time he spent at Juliard, where he went on to become a serious actor; His street reaction to the death of his friend John Belushi; Their devotion to the amusement of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq (we see the bond they had with them – their ability to join what they were passing through as soldiers); And his friendship with Christopher Reeve, of whom paralysis after a horse-riding accident, he said, “I don’t think I can go through that. And I wouldn’t like to. We can see Williams’ amazing tape of” Aladdin “See Jinn’s role improving and then, years later, doing improvisation locally, at a comedy club in Marin, where he performs and performs for hours – until he started to show off. For, another early indication that something was wrong.

The film Glib talks about the media perceptions that greeted Williams’ death: There is speculation that he committed suicide with some combination of depression, drugs, despair. There was nonsense about financial troubles, and the fact that their CBS sitcom, “The Crazy Ones” was canceled after one season. You can understand why it went away; We were all trying to realize what seemed like an impossible tragedy – the loss of the ultimate vitality comedian. But if “Robin’s will” has an agenda, it can lead to a disease like levy body dementia to clear the air of the innocent and capture the devastation. It is beyond cruel that the disease cut Robin Williams the way he did. In this sense, the film is a warning, in the form of a will that was a brilliant indiscriminate illumination of a human being.

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