Starring: Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Daniel London.
Robin Williams’ latest offering on the video shelves is a funny and sad, heartwarming story of one man’s efforts to change the medical system.
Suffering from a nervous breakdown that takes him to the brink of suicide, Hunter "Patch" Adams (Williams) admits himself to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. Through the cold, inhumane and at times cruel treatment he witnesses there, he learns the true value of loving care for patients. He decides to put his considerable intellect toward becoming a doctor, and employing the best medicine he knows, that of laughter and genuine treatment of the person, not just the disease.
Based on a true story about an unorthodox doctor, this movie really is a comedy vehicle for the talents of Robin Williams. He cracks some of his funniest jokes, and is at his manic best in this entertaining movie for all the family. Though the deeper message of this movie gets a little lost in the comedy at times, there is enough truth in the telling to ring true with any viewer.
Note on DVD :
This review is based on the DVD edition of this movie, and for those of you who haven’t switched from VHS to watching your movies on DVD yet, let me tell you there are great advantages for the serious language student in doing so.
Firstly, picture quality is much crisper than on tape, and the sound, through quality speakers, can make you feel like you’re in a movie theater.
But even with a regular TV and speakers there are some great advantages to DVD for language students. You no longer have to choose either the subtitled or dubbed version of the movie, because DVD’s include both. You can choose to have English or Japanese dialogue, combined with English or Japanese subtitles, or no subtitles at all. Everything can be controlled from the remote control. Also, as there is no tape to rewind or fast forward, replays are very quick and convenient. So you can replay a phrase, listen in Japanese or English, and even read the English subtitles as you listen. The opportunities for language practice are enormous.
For real movie fans, many newer DVD movies are including extra scenes, alternative endings, interviews, trailers and games on the disc. "Patch Adams" came with a third soundtrack, that of the director giving a moment by moment commentary of every scene. When used on a computer DVD-ROM, links to homepages related to the movie become instantly accessible.
Geo, Tsutaya and Jam here in Tsuyama have a large and growing collection of DVDs. If you want to check out what movie watching can do for your language studies, they may also have DVD players available for rental at a modest price. Why don’t you give it a try?