I have always considered Robin Williams to be a versatile and very talented actor. From Peter Pan to Patch Adams to Good Will Hunting, he has never failed my expectations. Tonight I am feeling a little sleepless, so I thought I'd kick in the good old blogging habit after watching yet another Robin William's movie, The Night Listener (2006). To be fair, I found it a rather predictable psychological thriller..yet another one based upon a successful American novel
( Armistead Maupin, "The Night Listener", 2000), a roman à clef as they call it. Robin Williams was intriguing in his I believe first role as an older gay writer. Gray intellectual beard, a bit of a belly, cord trousers and reading glasses look. Very intriguing,charming. The focal surprising twist towards the end is,however, not about the protagonist, but the undermining and unfathomable dualism of mental illness. Fascinating. I have always found the issue of mental illness interesting. Knowing how complex and perfect machines the human bodies are is one thing, but the ability of the mind it's quite a stunning concept. The issues highlighted by the movie can be related to a series of syndromes known as Factitious Disorders, when a person's mind is able to recreate the pathology of the illness they believe to be affected by or even arrive to the point of making illness up of their keens or even make up the people in their care. At first sight,these disorders could be assessed as blatant lies of unbalanced, shameless subjects. However, on a closer analysis it is easier to noticed that this is often the subconscious work of unhealthy people who, out of feeling unworthy of attention, recreate desperate situations, personages, "lies" which they believe will gain them more popularity. As many of you probably already know, I wrote my BA dissertation on the possible contribution of psychiatry and religion to the cure of mentally ill patients, with particular regard to schizophrenia. Despite the fact I was on the point of giving up on a number of occasions (here it's a recomandation to anyone undertaking an undergrad degree not to complicate your life with a difficoult topic for your first dissertation!!!), I thoroughly enjoyed the research and I was pleased with the end result. What stunned me the most is how mental disorders are nothing much more than the exasperation of human emotions which should make us all more symphatetic to those issues. Maybe none of us would have result to similar solutions as those highlighted by the movie (am trying real hard not to spoil the movie for you!) but who has never,not once felt unworthy of love to the point of being willing even to lie in order to feel better included? To undergo compromises. To lie. To exaggerate a story. To laugh at a rude joke. To cheat. Just for that priceless feeling of acceptance,belonging. If we think hard enough we are never too far from those we are judging and condemning.