Top positive review
38 of 38 people found this helpful
A Little Known Masterpiece
on 20 October 2007
Awakenings is a little masterpiece of a film, that I discovered late one night while channel surfing. I was immediately taken back by the depth of the film and purchased the DVD for a very low price on Amazon the following day.
The film stars Robert De Niro and Robin Williams and is based on a non-fictional book written by neurologist Oliver Sacks. Awakenings follows Dr Malcolm Sayer who takes up a post at a hospital in New York. The Doctor played perfectly by Robin Williams, discovers some of his patients - who survived the 1916 sleeping sickness epidemic can be helped to awaken from their existence as living statues (Encephalitis) through the use of an experimental drug known as L-Dopa. One patient called Leonard (De Niro) is awoken after being in a coma like state for thirty years. Leonard is transformed into a normal man and even falls in love. Encourage by this Dr Sayer sets about 'awakening' the other patients.
I found the film to be moving and powerful with the ability to make you question how you value the life of others. Awakenings is absorbing and very involving, and you can't help become gripped by the emotion and strength of the story. The acting throughout really is fantastic. Both Robin Williams and Robert De Niro are at their best and offer inspiring and tear jerking performances. Standards from other cast members is also note worthy. Especially the interaction between Leonard and his mother, which is realistic and powerful. The setting of the hospital itself was perfect and seems right.
Beautiful and completely engrossing offering a great and moving ending, it's hard to find anything to fault with Awakenings (other than the lack of special features on the DVD). So if you haven't seen this film I strongly suggest that you purchase it...soon.