IT HAS been in the news all week in regard to the sad loss of Robin Williams and while it has been well covered I too would like to share my thoughts and feelings. I normally handle the loss of well known folk in my stride with the exception of John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Princess Di and Steve Irwin but I must say that sadly I will add Robin Williams to the list.
While I loved Mork and Mindy and his comedy genius in most movies he was in, plus his stand-up performances and even just his interviews, everything he did was entertaining but there were two performances that will always stand out for me, and in fact changed me.
The Birdcage, which was about a gay couple who had to meet the parents of their son's wife to be and basically the underlining theme for me was we all need to accept people the way they are. Ironically though the movie that I will always relate to Robin Williams, and had a profound impact on me, was Fisher King. I turned up with the better half expecting a typical Robin Williams comedy but in fact it was an intensely serious and sometimes bizarre story about mental health. I think it was described as a comedy, drama and sometimes fantasy story that is intensely moving.
There was lot more to the story but to me he was the main character, a middle aged street person with some mental health issues with the plot going from seeing things through his eyes, then at times through the eyes of the "normal" people, it was brilliant. Basically it explained his behaviour and highlighted others' responses, it was very confronting.
What it did for me was reminded me of that old adage, "But by the grace of God go I" and taught me not to judge people on appearance or in fact on what I think is right or normal, whatever that is. We all row life's boat differently and his performance has constantly reminded me of that for the last two decades.
Sadly mental health had a massive impact on William's life and eventually stole it from him but at least it will bring up the subject of the black dog and remind us all that it can't be ignored. With all due respect to Robin Williams, "Nanu Nanu," you may have signed off but I will never forget you.
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