Monday, August 11, 2014
Robin Williams: A Tribute
In the world of entertainment, there are those who can move you. There are those that can make you cry. There are those that can make you think and be engaged. There are those that can make you laugh. Robin Williams was one those people who could do all of those things and more. His passing on August 11, 2014 wasn’t just a major shock but one that I’m sure that many just couldn’t believe. I am beyond sad. I’m more than just devastated. Having been through my own battles with depression, it is a disease and never an easy one to conquer as I’m sure it was incredibly hard for Williams to deal with. I don’t want to talk about his death but what he meant to myself and the world.
One of the great things that I think Williams accomplished is that he was able to cross over from generation to generation. In the late 70s, people grew up watching him in Mork & Mindy and Happy Days. In the 80s, it could’ve been Popeye, The World According to Garp, or through his stand-up comedy work. I am one of those people that was raised by Robin Williams through his work in Comic Relief and films like Moscow on the Hudson, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Dead Poets Society, Aladdin, Club Paradise, The Best of Times, and Mrs. Doubtfire. My parents were big fans of Robin Williams as they loved his comedic work in films like Good Morning Vietnam. Yet, Moscow on the Hudson is a film that I think is very underrated as my parents constantly talked about since they’re immigrants and know that experience while being to laugh at what Williams was doing. It’s a very special film as I think credit should also go to its co-writer/director Paul Mazursky for making that film as he had just recently passed away.
I think there’s kids that grew up Williams through his voice work in Aladdin which is one of the great voice performances as well as films like Jumanji and Nine Months which were the kind of films that lifted you up on a down day. Yet, the film that I loved to watch that my parents loved to watch and sisters loved to watch was Mrs. Doubtfire. We all saw it in the theaters and we loved it because it was funny and it had a very touching story. My late maternal grandmother loved the film as who couldn’t love that scene where Williams realizes he’s on fire and had to stop it with pot tops? It’s one of those rare movies that manages to cross all age groups and do so much.
Of course for every great performance that Williams has done in films like Good Will Hunting, Awakenings, The Birdcage, Baron Munchausen and Dead Poets Society where he can be funny but also be very dramatic. There are films that weren’t very good like Bicentennial Man, Jack, Old Dogs, Toys, Hook, and of course, Patch Adams. I’m sure there were people who were kids when some of those movies were made thought they were great but are now realize that they weren’t any good. I think part of Williams’ genius was bring the child in him so that kids were able to connect with him.
When I was coming of age and discovering new things, Williams would come back but in a very different way. Death to Smoochy may not everyone’s favorite film but I enjoyed it to death because it was different and Williams was playing a bit of a psychopath who kept saying “I’m Rainbow Fuckin’ Randolph”. That streak would continue with a very devious and creepy role as the antagonist in Insomnia which was very surprising while I think his crowning achievement in that year where he decided to go dark was in One Hour Photo which is definitely one his most overlooked performances. Another performance of his that I thought was overlooked is World’s Greatest Dad which is an extremely underrated film. It has him being a dad to a son who is essentially the biggest douche bag in the world who suddenly died due to auto-asphyxiation. The best scene for me was Williams making his confession and freeing himself from the lies he created as he was surrounded by people who were essentially full of shit.
It’s probably what I think is the last great performance of his career though he has a couple of more movies to come out later this year. Yet, I just want to remember those great movies he made and how much it meant to the world. Though he is now gone, his ability to make the world laugh and cry will never be forgotten. Thank you my Captain.
R.I.P. Robin Williams (1951-2014)
© thevoid99 2014