This emotional doc reveals why you never had a friend like Robin.
Robin Williams (1951-2014) was a comedy legend with a broken mind. He made us laugh in “Aladdin,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “Good Morning Vietnam,” and he warmed our hearts in “Good Will Hunting.” He was a virtuoso, until his fading years when his depression caused him to take his own life in 2014. It left the world in a state of decay, and we feel even worse by the fact that he had mental problems. The real question is: what was going on inside his brain?
The documentary “Robin’s Wish” shows us the struggles and depression of Robin. He was battling depression on account of the Lewy body dementia disease, which would be incurable, and during his last few years, he became more insecure with his work. He was having trouble with his lines for “The Crazy Ones” and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” and he felt he was losing himself. Interviews from his widow Susan Schneider, their neighbors, friends, fellow comedians (like Rick Overton and Bobcat Goldthwait), and filmmakers (like Shawn Levy and “The Crazy Ones” executive producers) reveal to fans their interactions with him how they felt something was going on with him. He wanted to be taken seriously as an actor, and not just a comedian.
We’re given segments on how Lewy body dementia affects the brain. It causes anxiety, depression, movement disorders, and apathy, among many other symptoms. It can even affect your sleep by making you cause scenes at night and hitting things when you think you’re just dreaming it. This is scary, because this disease is unpredictable, and we lost Robin to it.
“Robin’s Wish,” directed by Tylor Norwood, may be difficult to watch, because of how we have to be reminded of his demise, but it does provide us with enough details about where Robin went in his career, and why he was deteriorating. Even if the film does run for an hour and 17 minutes, we’re still interested in learning about Robin’s impact on his friends and fans, and the cause and effects of Lewy body dementia.
This doc has been released 6 years after his suicide, and that should be enough time for the people in his life to discuss their aspects and feelings. A loss like this is very difficult to talk about, and I just suffered from a loss in my life (my grandfather). So, I know exactly how these people feel. Both Williams and my grandfather have made me laugh, but I can no longer get that from them. I can, however, reflect on all the joy and serenity they have provided.
Hearing Robin’s wife Susan Schneider talk about her relationship and worries about him is really emotional, and brings tears to your eyes. She carries this movie with sincerity and heart, and I’m proud of her for being brave to do so. So, if you want to learn more about Robin’s life, then see ‘Robin’s Wish,” and it will win you over.
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