As everybody (probably) already knows, the legendary actor Robin Williams passed away the other day. It was a sad day for comedy fans and motion picture buffs worldwide, but even more of a sad occasion for Mr. Williams’s family.
So from John Siebelink to the family of Robin Williams, I am sorry for your loss. Robin was one of my favorite actors of all time.
I find it really disrespectful that the news and other outlets are spending so much of their time dwelling on Mr. Williams’s depression and apparent suicide. I’m very sure that that is the last thing he or his family wanted him to be remembered for. I refuse to be one of those people who upset the Williams family and friends by wasting time blogging about it.
Instead, seeing as how this is a film blog, I thought I would celebrate Robin and his life’s work by talking about one of my all-time favorite movies and one that had a significant influence on both my reading and movie-watching to this very day.
I’m talking, of course, of Robin’s 1991 adventure film Hook. Not only is this one of the first movies I remember seeing as a kid, but it’s also probably the first fantasy movie I recall seeing. I remember going to different book stores with my mom after watching that movie and buying a few different editions of Peter Pan.
Robin does a superb job in this film, portraying a grown-up Peter Pan who has no memory of his magical, high-flying childhood while keeping his neglectful and immature personality. However, when his children are whisked from their beds by the vengeful Captain Hook, the out-of-shape, bitter Peter must confront his entire forgotten past in order to rescue them.
While Peter Banning (Peter Pan’s adopted parents’ name) is shown to neglect his parental duties several times throughout the beginning of the movie, he also has a few demonstrations where he is in control. This pattern of caring/not caring continues throughout the entire movie, and Robin does a great job switching personalities on a whim. The one thing I still cannot figure out is how he managed to forget every single detail of his life in Neverland while other former denizens (Tootles and Wendy Darling) remember everything clear as crystal. Something must have happened that greatly changed him, because not even his arch nemesis Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) recognizes him at first.
Despite this initial change, whatever it might have been, Robin has no trouble transforming back into Peter Pan–complete with all of his memories–when the time is right. He goes from being a grumpy old man to having a child-like vigor in seconds, and it becomes hard tell Banning from Pan (and that they’re played by the same actor.)
Such was Robin Williams’s talent. He had the ability to portray any kind of character, whether it be goofy or serious or somewhere in between and still be able to get a few laughs out of moviegoers no matter what. It is a quality you do not see much of in actors and actresses nowadays, and it takes a special kind of artist to pull it off.
Robin Williams was one of those artists, painting masterpieces of comedy with every role he mastered, It would be hard–if not impossible–to find a bad Robin Williams movie. He was just that good.
Farewell, Robin Williams. I look forward to the day I can be treated to some of your new releases in the movie theater in the sky.