Title – Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018)
Director – Marina Zenovich (Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic)
Cast – Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Eric Idle, Steve Martin
Plot – An examination of the life of famed comedian and actor Robin Williams, told through both archival footage and interviews and by those that knew him best.
“Stand-up is survival. For me that’s jazz, that’s what I have to do”
Review by Eddie on 28/11/2018
Over four years ago now the world and in-turn the film/entertainment industry lost one of its brightest stars Robin Williams, it was a dimming of a light that will never be truly replaced, such was the skill and charisma that the beloved comedian and actor brought to his life.
A maniacal presence that seemed to always be operating at a different level to the rest of us, a mind full of ideas, complexities and wisdoms, Williams was a hard figure to pin down exactly, as you were often unsure if what you were seeing was the whole picture, but documentary filmmaker Marina Zenovich looks to examine this aspect in her fascinating and wonderfully put together HBO feature Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.
Not a typical documentary experience, as Zenovich crafts much of the film around Williams various interviews and musings as well as interviews with his loved ones and those that worked with him, Mind acts as both a heartfelt tribute to the esteemed performer and a sombre and honest representation of a man that had many demons over his career and battled (often outside of public knowledge) many an issue, that somehow never managed to deter Williams from bringing so much fun and entertainment to so many.
Mind is the type of experience that only enhances the legacy of Williams, who rose from unknown street comedian to TV alien, through to an Oscar winning actor, as we are taken through memory lane from Williams early days through to his more sombre and quiet end times, an actor and thinker trying to come to terms with life and what lays before him.
It’s an affectionate undertaking, filled with rare and perhaps otherwise unseen private photographs and home videos and is filled with recognisable participants such as Williams long term friend Billy Crystal, Mork and Mindy co-star Pam Dawber and family members such as one-time wife Valerie Velardi (who battled with Williams previously non-public infidelity) and son Zak Williams, who all talk frankly and openly about their dear friend and family member.
Mind also wisely doesn’t just examine Williams with rose-tinted glasses, as we are made very much aware of a man that whilst filled with goodness and kindness, was as flawed and filled with foibles as all of us, giving us a true all round picture of the man behind the icon.
Final Say –
A must-see for both ardent fans and more casual consumers of Williams life and work, Come Inside My Mind is an insightful look into the life and times of one of the all-time great entertainers, taken from us far too soon.
4 phone messages out of 5