When the news that Robin Williams had passed away earlier this week, the whole globe broke into a tears. The cascade of anguish that poured out into the internet and atmosphere were filled with wishes of warmth, dedication and utter devastation. Whilst we fondly remember his most incredible roles, a theme streaked through the actor’s portfolio; tenderness, energy, love and the skill to level darker elements such as death and mental illness. There is no denying that the bereft of Robin’s talents touched our souls. Yet there was one role that simply had us chilled, showcasing his much denied ability to become an effective and haunting villain. This is that film, One Hour Photo.
Such a departure from previous films, including his dramatic turns in Good Will Hunting and Dead Poet’s Society, One Hour Photo demands the actor to turn his talents in a terrifying manner. As Sy, he exudes this haunting character twisted by the past and therefore doesn’t assimilate to humanity like the rest. Williams is breathtakingly on point as Sy tries to grasp at all he has imagined when presented with the shocking reality. The slow break down is unnerving, sparking of this dread and illicit shock because, not only is Sy a character that we aren’t used to Williams playing, but the actor does it with such ferocity and accurate humanity that you’ll be transfixed with this unsettling performance.
It may lose balance towards the end but there is no denying that One Hour Photo has a surprising punch that will wind you upon viewing. Stripping your comfort away within moments, not only is it a contortion of Williams’ effervescent personality but his skill to perturb you is nothing short of break-taking fear. It’s an unforgettable watch, sticking clear in your mind after first watch. Sublime and chilling, One Hour Photo is one of Williams’ most undeniably great roles.