Friday, July 16, 2010

Good Morning Vietnam (1987)


Stars : Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby , J. T. Walsh

Director : Barry Levinson.

Written by : Mitch Markowitz

Robin Williams is a name synonymous with comedy and this one is no different except for one reason, this is solely his movie. He is not just the character but you do see Robin Williams the stand up comic.

United States Air Force Airman Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams ) a DJ with the forces is transferred to  Armed forces Radio Station Saigon  from Crete. Adrian is a flamboyant man with a free soul , an incredible sense of humour and  really good comic talent. His work responsibilities include broadcasting approved and doctored news, general entertainment and playing music for the soldiers in field , all this while adhering to the rules and code set up by his superiors. Adrian likes to stretch the limits a bit , starts his broadcast with a  lively and positive phrase "GOOD MORNING VIETNAM " slightly odd for his superiors and colleagues initially, does not hesitates to impersonate characters while reading the news or create entirely fictitious character as his correspondents or guest. All his antics become a little too much for his superiors. This is his tale, story of his short stay in Saigon where he falls for a girl named Trinh , chases her , befriends her brother Tuan. Almost gets killed in a bomb blast , defies his superiors, lets out the truth through his radio broadcast  and gets suspended for it. On recall , he is set up by his superior officer and almost gets lost inside the enemy territory, to be rescued by Tuan, who latter turns out to be an enemy operative and responsible for the blast. This is the story of transformation of a clown to a comic with a purpose.

Robin Williams is one of the most gifted comic artist ever and it is a loss that hardly we get to see him use his talent to full. Good Morning Vietnam may be one of very few rare movies where Robin gets a chance to show and use may be not the complete spectrum but some of his talents and skills. One of the finest performances of Robin's career, he brings  life to the character of Adrian with his simplistic charm , his remarkable talent and his commendable acting. It seemed like the director gave him full freedom to let loose and do which ever way he wanted to. The impersonation , the different characters created, Phew!. He is unbelievable. He deservedly got an Academy Award nomination for best actor in leading role. Forest Whitaker in one of his earliest movies performs well in a  small but important part of Private first class Edward Garlick. The other performance i really liked in the movie was from Bruno Kirby  who plays Lieutenant Steven Hauk. A self declared comic, slightly paranoid and always seeking a salute from his junior officers. He is one character that stood out from the rest, specially while holding the radio show during Adrian's absences due to suspension.

The whole movie is just filled with energy and the mainstay is Robin Williams. A brilliant performance ,accompanied with some fine writing. The movie never had a dull moment.I got to appreciate the director too for bring the best out Robin and all his characters. The one interesting and most important fact about his movie is that its based on a real life character.

Good Morning Vietnam is truly a wonderful movie and is as fresh as a real good morning.

Plus :
Robin Williams unleashed.

Minus :
Can be ignored if any for Robin Williams superlative performance.

Rating :
8/10

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