• Gareth Crook

Robin’s Wish (2020)

We were all stunned when we lost Robin Williams weren’t we. It was genuinely shocking. Depression we thought. The sad clown. Well maybe in part, but only a small part, by no means the whole story. Williams committed suicide at 63 in 2014. Why? the world wondered. He was brilliant, talented, loved, what a waste. He had battled addiction, everyone jumped to conclusions. All of which were and are wrong. This documentary seeks to find some truth, some reason. That truth lies in the post-mortem diagnosis of Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia. A little known disease that effects the brain and the body. A bit like Parkinson’s. Give something a name and you can build from there. That’s what this film does, painting a picture of a devastating disease that moves fast, is incurable and always fatal... and he had no idea he had it. I think that makes it worse, if he’d have known, maybe he’d have found some peace, understanding what was causing his anxiety, paranoia, memory loss, confusion... but who can truly know. Much of this is made up of interviews with friends and neighbours, people he lived with. Despite being a global star, he lived a pretty humble life. Nice house, nice neighbourhood, but he wasn’t hidden away. The other side, is specialists explaining how this disease works and how it would’ve effected Robin. What it did to his confidence, caused him to withdraw slowly. Good days and bad, the bad slowly outnumbering the good. Mercifully there’s a lot of history too, an overview of how he came up. It’s a pleasure to relive such an energetic career. Seeing that alongside explanations of how his brain was unwiring and the dementia it caused though is very sad. In many ways this jumps between the good and the bad, the way he might have. His relationship with his wife Susan, his friendship with Christopher Reeves, but lots of science too, overview stuff, but giving you a sense of what was happening. It’s a tough watch. There’s no happy ending. There’s a little more understanding though. RIP Robin x

8/10


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