Title card for Robin Williams Come Inside My Mind.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind chips away at you slowly as you reminisce and laugh, to the point you won’t realize how crushed and exposed you are by the end. Director(s) Marina Zenovich Date Released 7/16/2018 Genre(s) Documentary Good If You Like Robin Williams Documentaries Which Are More About the Person, And Their Life,…

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Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind chips away at you slowly as you reminisce and laugh, to the point you won’t realize how crushed and exposed you are by the end.

Director(s) Marina Zenovich
Date Released 7/16/2018
Genre(s) Documentary
Good If You Like Robin Williams

Documentaries Which Are More About the Person, And Their Life, Than Career Highlights or A Specific Time In Their Life

Noted Actors
Himself Robin Williams
Himself Billy Crystal
Himself Zak Williams


Robin Williams was born an entertainer. Not necessarily because of his comedic mom, but because, through his dad, he saw how laughter could light up even the most curmudgeon of people. So, in time, he found his way into doing improv and acting, even went to school for it. The legendary Julliard in fact. And through comedy and characters, he learned to express himself and with a manic personality, made people laugh.

Yet, as many performers note, that high from making people laugh is addictive. To the point it seems, to keep it going, Williams made who he was at his core something only a few were exposed to. For the most part, you were either his audience, as many were, or you were truly someone he was close to. It isn’t clear how many were truly in that inner circle, but when you compare how Billy Crystal talks to everyone else, you can kind of see that line.

And while, yes, drugs and alcohol were addictions Williams suffered from, it seems that need for validation is what drove him to his death. For with Lewy body disease, among other things, age was beginning to take away what made him feel connected and got himself out of his head. A place which seemed so lonely that, if he couldn’t drown out his thoughts with laughter, it seemed he’d rather just leave on a high note. For maybe, and this is not said in the documentary, seeing what became of Richard Pryor after his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, and that battle, made the idea of a long decline hardly attractive. Especially for someone who spoke his sadness and weakness through characters and seemingly, always wanted to be remembered for laughter.

Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs

Great people make you better – Whoopi Goldberg


It Makes You Feel Like An Insider More Than It Tries To Humanize A Legend

Mark Romanek speaking on his experience with Robin Williams.
Mark Romanek: He didn’t really like to talk about his issues, you know.

The way a documentary’s narrative is handled can go tons of ways. They could be about humanizing a legendary figure, seem like a well done YouTube video in which a fan is recounting the rise and fall with subtle commentary. Then there is giving you the inside scoop. You getting this impression that this figure is still alive and you just keep missing them but boy does everyone have a story to tell. That’s the vibe you get from Come Inside My Mind.

For whether it is his first ex-wife, his son Zak, or various celebrities, you get the idea they didn’t come into this to continue and support a legacy. They wanted you to understand who the man, Robin Williams, was without taking him down a notch in any sense of the word. Not to say there aren’t notes of his imperfections or some form of making him less an icon and more so just their friend. While never bashed, it is admitted that he was an alcoholic and insecure. Which doesn’t lead to them painting him as cruel but definitely made it hard to speak to him and not him through the lens of a character.

Also, as a father, his kids dealt with what many kids of entertainment figures do. There was a love for the man, despite how absent he would be, and a sort of jealous of how much he belonged to the world more than them. But, as for anything beyond that? You don’t hear anything really negative here.

Similar to Won’t You Be My Neighbor? you get to see and understand how one man found his own space and purpose in American culture and how seriously he took it. How much the responsibility wore him down yet also fired him up. Making it where, when he couldn’t do that anymore, the cycle slowed down and seemingly he couldn’t deal with the possibility of it stopping. For he had lived his whole life seeking approval, getting that validation from loved ones and strangers, and perhaps knew nothing else. And as shown, he wasn’t one for sympathy or pity so, he made his decision.

On The Fence

It Stops Being In Chronological Order After 1993

Being that this is a life story, it is unfortunate that after his meteoric rise in the early 1990s, the movie decides to ditch keeping things in chronological order. From there, so begins the slow decline, with little bumps, of Robin’s story and it being clear the film has hit the high points and just wants to wrap it up. Not making it where, after balancing the jokes with Robin’s insecurities, all you have left is a man who was in decline. Someone whose alcoholism became a bigger and bigger issue and, while still funny, people began to recognize he wasn’t as sharp anymore.

In other words, after a certain point, it seemed like Zenovich knew the film had to end with Robin’s suicide. The question, and issue, was how to not end things in a way which provided the answer to why he did it. A definitive one that is. For, as noted in her BUILD series interview, that was never the point, building up to the why. Reasons you can fathom are sprinkled throughout, but the idea here was to present an icon, the people who knew them, and perhaps give you a sense of nostalgia. Not present an investigative journalism piece into the suicide of Robin Williams and every factor that might have led to it.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Revered figures who died tragically are hard to approach. They mean so much, and so many different things, to people that you can’t satisfy everyone. Yet, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind seems to just about hit that mark. For whether you just wanted to relive the energy and style which made Robin a legend, see who he was and what he was like when the cameras were on, or come to some understanding why he committed suicide, that’s delivered.

Hence the positive label. For while none of the three points are handled in such a way you’ll feel like you got all you’d could want and more, you’ll definitely be left satisfied. You may even find yourself watching old specials, shows, or movies, just to remind yourself when you fell in love with the actor and their work.

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