Horizon at Sandy Point

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Angriest Man

The tombstone of the Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Henry Altmann, bears the dates 1951 - 2014. This film was released a couple months before the death of Robin Williams whose tombstone will also say 1951 - 2014. Looking at Williams hopping mad on the screen, even as he's supposed to be preparing to die, you know he's going to be around a long time. The 50 or so roles that he created for cinema, not to mention the television pieces, the stand up comedy will be viewed again and again. People will pick their favourites, and search out the films they haven't seen.

His face is the face of The World According to Garp (1982). Henry Irving's character was brought to life by Williams; and Garp will never be other than Williams' tragi-comic alter ego. There's always a little horror lurking behind the frivolity, look at Patch Adams. Perhaps horror is too strong, maybe it's reality lurking: growing old, falling out of love, dying.

In Angriest Man, Henry Altmann comes face to face with mortality. He's so angry that you are sure he will blow a gasket. And he does. The doctor, a replacement for his regular medic, is angry too. She (Mila Kunis) feels pushed to her limit, as a doctor, as a human being. She diagnoses the scan; and provoked by Altmann's insistence, pronounces that he has 90 minutes to live. And so for 90 minutes (running time of the movie), we see how Henry reconciles the disappointments and hurts of his life that made him angrier and angrier.

We have two more Robin Williams films to be released this year. Merry Friggin Christmas and the third   episode of Night in the Museum: Secret of the Tomb in which he plays Theodore Roosevelt. You could always go back to the classic Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society, What Dreams May Come, Mrs Doubtfire, Jack, The Final Cut, The Birdcage … What a legacy!

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