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Robin’s Wish

By Josiah Teal | September 1, 2020

“I want to help people be less afraid,” writes Robin Williams in the final scenes of Robin’s Wish, a film that captures the life and legacy of Robin Williams. This quote remains a central theme throughout the movie as it focuses on Williams’s lasting impacts on audiences worldwide. Having passed away in August of 2014, Robin Williams left behind a legacy of iconic performances and a shroud of questions for his millions of fans. Discovering that Robin Williams’ death is linked with Diffuse Lewy Bodies Dementia (Lewy Bodies), a rare neurological disorder, co-writer, and director Tylor Norwood seeks to answer those questions and calls viewers to action through a story of hope, heartache, and closure in Robin’s Wish.

Immediately, Robin’s Wish separates itself from other documentaries about the funnyman in showing the multiple layers of Williams as a person. Friends, neighbors, colleagues, and his wife Susan Schneider paint a beautiful picture of Williams as more than the entertainer. They reminisce, describing him as a caring philanthropist, loyal friend, and loving husband with the soul of a master improviser and compelling dramatic actor. The film interweaves personal stories of Robin’s career and final days while giving a real insight into the destructive nature of Lewy Bodies.

“…Robin Williams’ death is linked with Diffuse Lewy Bodies Dementia…”

Beyond being a film for fans of Robin Williams, Robin’s Wish puts a face and story behind Lewy Bodies. The film shows the legacy of Williams and highlights his major roles, but truly captures his essence in the personal stories throughout the overall narrative. By Norwood including such in-depth stories of Williams’ life and final days, the film goes beyond paying respect to the late comedian, raising awareness of mental health and the severity of a largely unknown disorder that has yet to be cured.

As a lifelong fan of Robin Williams, I went into this documentary expecting to see highlights from the man who brought to life classic characters such as Genie, Mork from Ork, and Mr. Keating. Beyond seeing the career that would touch lives the world over, Robin’s Wish gives viewers a sense of closure in the passing of someone who brought laughter to so many people.

Like any great Robin Williams film, Robin’s Wish has moments of joy, nostalgia, heartbreak, and, most of all, hope. It is a film that tells about the passing of Robin Williams at the hands of Lewy Bodies but allows viewers to see there is still hope for a cure. The film leaves the audience with the lasting hope that, in death, Williams can help others to “be less afraid.”

Robin's Wish (2020)

Directed: Tylor Norwood

Written: Scott Fitzloff, Tylor Norwood

Starring: Robin Williams, Susan Schneider, David E. Kelly, Shawn Levy, Rick Overton, John R. Montgomery, etc.

Movie score: 10/10

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"…like any great Robin Williams film, Robin's Wish has moments of joy, nostalgia, heartbreak, and, most of all, hope."

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