With this post, here on Guidedoc we would like to make an approach to the idea of the "other side" of comedians, those elocuent actors who in fact are much more than the laughs they get from us when they come to the stage.
The fact is that, in some cases, depression and addiction are a constant burden in the life of many them. The list includes names like Mark Maron, Jim Norton, Chris Fairley, John Belushi, Andy Kaufman and the artist in the spot light of Marina Zenovic’s latest film: Robin Williams.
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HBO Films’ “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” is, like the title of the film suggests, a gaze into the brains of this master of laughter. The film is shot with a classic narrative, having William’s key friends and colleagues speaking about their relationship with him, but it’s not these interesting interviews what really makes this film an important one.
The best feature of the documentary is the fact that we can see footage of Williams behind scenes of some memorable shows and films he was part of. These brief, magical moments give us a clue of what was going on in the life of the man behind the actor. The moments between takes, the time outs while shooting a film... here is when we discover that every single second of his life was devoted to make people laugh.
“Come Inside My Mind” got released at a very particular time in history. With national and worldwide tension after Trump was elected president and the way the United States has been dealing with important sociological issues within the entertainment industry, the documentary is, at least, impactful, specially because Marina Zenovich brings out the issue of drug abuse with much respect to Williams’s case.
As this thread unfolds, we understand that drugs were a kind of gasoline to cope with depression and energize him the way he needed, a motif that we find in other actors and comedians addressed in the film’s sociological approach on the issue.
How is the entertainment industry dealing with this is another question posed in the film. The interviewees suggest that maybe nothing has been done, and the fact is that the years pass and every single problem is still there just waiting to explode, just like it happened with William’s life.
The true value of the documentary lies on its aim of taking Williams’s death as a starting point to bring this issue to the surface, considering the fact that not only comedians but any figure in the public eye can suffer from these burdens.
The documentary also explores William’s heritage in the American comedian world, being the most notable aspect the fact that he was a bar raiser for other comedians to take greater risks. It is redundant to state that Robin Williams was one of the greatest, and sure the film leaves this very clear. But the most important lesson we learn after watching the film is that he started a revolution both in comedy and in the entertainment industry.