Saturday, November 14, 2009

Patch Adams


-Film: “Patch Adams
-Genre: Drama.
-Director: Tom Shadyac
-Authors: Steve Oedekerk (based on “Good Health is a Laughing Matter”, by Patch Adams and Maureen Myland
-Cast: Robin Williams (Patch Adams), Monica Potter (Carin), Daniel London (Truman), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Mitch), Bob Gunton (Dean Walcott).

- Review:
“Patch Adams” tells the story of the most special and gifted doctor of all times: Hunter “Patch” Adams. As might have been expected, the movie in question provides viewers with a perfect representation of the most relevant turning-points in the doctor’s life. In fact, at first, the film introduces Patch (Robin Williams) as a man who is hospitalized in a mental institution. Surprisingly, there, he finds a very important purpose of life; that of helping others whatever happens. Right after that, he leaves the institution and decides to go in for medicine, which will allow him to help others professionally. However, once in the medical school, he is taught a traditional method, which advocates a distant attitude towards patients that does not address their personal qualities or needs. Interestingly, Adams is determined to change this situation, as he believes firmly that patients who are suffering enormous pain should be heard and understood. In a few words, he thinks that laughter is the best medicine to undergo hard situations. Moreover, he pays particular attention to those who suffer extremely serious diseases, such as cancer, and tries to make them spent an amazing time, making all their dreams come true. Unfortunately, the authorities and some of his classmates, such as Mitch (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), do not agree with his idea and try to implement strategies to make him drop out his initial purpose. As time goes by, his patients, professors and hospital nurses, begin to appreciate his method of healing the sick. Nevertheless, Patch, with the unconditional help of his friends: Carin (Monica Potter) and Truman (Daniel London), struggles against winds and tides, in order to fulfill his aims. Interestingly, he decides to build his own medical clinic, where a close relationship between doctors and patients is a key element. Unluckily, Patch suffers a huge loss, which devastates him. He thinks that God creates men only to suffer and life does not worth it. As might have been expected, he feels dispirited, but suddenly a colorful butterfly sits on his medical bag. That event makes him regain the passion he once had. After being dismissed from the medical school for a second time, Patch is able to convince the jury in a final speech, by saying that he did his best to help the people that came to him, stating that treating a disease is a win-or-lose situation, but treating a person's spirit always guarantees a positive outcome. Furthermore, he encourages medical students to cultivate relationships with nurses and learn their skills. He also states that death should be treated with dignity and even humor. Finally, the jury in question accepts Patch's medical methods and does not prevent him from graduating.
In general, I believed wholeheartedly that “Patch Adams” is touching, as well as controversial, since it questions the traditional method of healing and the distant relationship between patients and doctors. Furthermore, both actors and actress, especially Robin Williams, offer particularly memorable performances, which are regarded as outstanding.
To sum up, I would like to say that the movie in question relies on a profoundly moving plot, which teaches us that PATIENTS should be treated as PEOPLE; as well as that we should make a great effort to reach our objectives, and we shouldn’t admit defeat just because others want us to do so.

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