18th May 2024

Awakenings (Year 1 Wed.)

ENGLISH FOR PSYCHOLOGY Forums Neuropsychology Awakenings (Year 1 Wed.)

  • This topic has 88 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by admin.
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    • #7764
      admin
      Keymaster

      What is your overall impression of the movie?

    • #7765
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I genuinely love this movie. It was really well cast. Robert de Niro was amazing in his role. He believable portrait Leonard as disabled person who like a miracle get suddenly better. The move was kind of fell good movie despite the end when L dope stopped working and everyone returned to the stage from the beginning.

      • #7768
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Yes, I definitely agree – I think the cast was just perfect. I just can’t imagine how hard it must be to act like disabled person.

    • #7766
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well, I’ve almost cried my eyes out. I was so moved by this film, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The most touching for me was the fact that movie is based on true events. I was just so moved when medical staff managed to “wake” all patients up, but when L-Dopa stopped working properly and I watched Leonard (and every patient after him) losing his life he only enjoyed a few months… It just broke my heart.

      • #7775
        admin
        Keymaster

        Did you know that the character of dr Sayer was based on Oliver Sacks?

        • #7778
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Yes, I found out after the movie.

          • #7783
            admin
            Keymaster

            Which Sacks’ book or essay did you enjoy the most?

    • #7767
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I find this film very moving. Especially, two moments touched me most deeply – the moment, in which Leonardo wants to discover the world around him and do simple things and when he says on the recording that he is back. And that moment when he is dancing with a woman. Before watching this film, I had no idea what to expect but now having watched it, I must say that this plot is very universal and even though the film is quite old, we can find its message today. Awakened people who are joyful and want to live to the fullest, not waste time made me feel both, happy and sad. Very inspiring and touching film. Worth-seeing!

      • #7773
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I agree with you. The scene when he was dancing with a woman was really touching. I also liked a moment of a first meeting with his mother after treatment. I cried at this moment becouse he was like lost little boy who finally find his home his mum that he missed so much

        • #7776
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Yes…and generally his son-mother relationship is interesting. Her behaviour evolves. First she is so happy that her son is back but also she disbelieves and then, when it’s getting worse with him, she is heartbroken, seeing again his son being back to the old condition..

          • #7785
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            It was kind of relation mum/teenage boy. Firstly she was shocked that he woke up a little bit different then she remember. He got sick when he was a little boy and for her he was still this little boy. I think that she was a little bit jealous about his relation with Paula.

            • #7816
              Anonymous
              Inactive

              I think that she just remembered him as a little boy and it was really hard for her to just admit that he is an adult now.

      • #7774
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        The dance scene was really moving…She made him feel once again like a healthy person.

        • #7779
          admin
          Keymaster

          Do you remember the reason of Leonard’s catatonia?

          • #7789
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            I am not sure but I’m thinking that the epidemic of encephalitis lethargica was the reason.

            • #7793
              admin
              Keymaster

              Indeed. It was an epidemic in the 1920s and an estimated five million people died from causes related to. The etiology remains unclear but there is a leading theory that posits it was caused by streptococcal (paciorkowiec) infection.

    • #7770
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Everything in this film is well – chosen – from the plot, through the cast to the music. Everything works together and gives us unforgettable experience. The film tells us about the fragility of human life and the will of fight. I find this really hard and touching but would definitely recommend this film to everyone.

    • #7772
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I liked the movie, although it didn’t make me feel very moved and involved, I actually found it a little bit predictable because of everything we have learned so far. I did enjoy De Niro’ and Williams’ acting and the overall concept of the movie but it just didn’t get me attached emotionally. The ending moved me a little bit cause it was sad seeing all the patients back to their unaware stage but I expected it.

      • #7777
        admin
        Keymaster

        Carolina, what made dr Sayer administer L-Dopa to the catatonic patients?

        • #7784
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          The fact that they had reflexes, they could catch falling glasses or balls thrown at them, so that gave him hope to try and look for medicine that would help. L-dopa helped people with Parkinson’s disease, so he had hope it would help this group as well.

          • #7800
            admin
            Keymaster

            Weren’t you surprised that other doctors in this “chronic” hospital stopped treating the post-encephalitic patients, and the help their provided was similar to the one you can receive in old people’s homes?

      • #7802
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I see how you thought the movie was predictable as in some moments I felt the same. Regardless, I think it’s a great movie for people that are not very familiar with the concept and never familiarized with those diseases. Did you enjoy the ending despite that or do you think it could have ended differently?

    • #7780
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I was extremely excited to watch this movie and in all honesty, it didn’t disappoint. I think everyone can spend two hours and watch it. The movie overall was very insightful and helpful when learning about all these patients. It was moving and encouraging how dr Sayer was determined to help them and later take care of them. I believe him being passionate about them contributed to him finally succeeding.

      • #7786
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        What was your favorite scene from the movie?

        • #7794
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          I think the one where dr Sayer found Leonard in the cafeteria awake. He just sat there and colored. It was moving and charming at the same time.

      • #7788
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Exactly, I really enjoyed watching how determined dr Sayer was. He believed that he could help those patient and he didn’t gave up after all disapproval comments. He did everything he could to bring those people back to live and to give them a little bit of happiness. The scene when he was watching film from Leonard recovery was truly heartbreaking, he treated Leonard as a friend and he felt that he disappointed him.

        • #7798
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          I agree, him ignoring all these people and fighting for what he believes in, was remarkable and inspirational. I also liked how they formed a friendship throughout the film.

    • #7781
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This movie was generally really good, full of moving scenes. I really liked the character of Lucy. She was so adorable. What affected me the most was the scene when Leonard met her mother for the first time after awakening. Furthermore, the movie has a great cast. In my opinion, everything was so real, so I can see what it looks like to have disease like that and how terrible is when L-dopa stop working, after I read about it earlier.

      • #7805
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        What doctor Sayer felt when his treatment failed?

        • #7814
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          I think that he felt like he let everyone down. He seemed very disappointed and helpless.

        • #7819
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Yes, I agree Asia. And also he felt just sad, because Leonard and him became friends. When he realised what was happening he told his friend from work that he felt like giving somebody a live and then taking it back. He felt terrible that he couldn’t do anything about it.

    • #7782
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I loved the movie, the acting was amazing in my opinion. I cant’t imagine how difficult it was for Robert De Niro to play disabled person, especially that he did a grat job and it was really realistic.
      The movie shows that despite the disability, they are normal human inside, they love and want to be loved, they want to dance, laugh, have family and friends but the disease takes it away from them and they seem to be aware of that. The scene when Paula danced with Leonard was really moving, she showed him that he is much more than his disability and that she really cares about him, while they were dancing he looked relaxed for a moment.

    • #7787
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      “Awakenings” for me was definitely touching. I really liked the acting and the overall atmosphere of the film.
      Although I don’t like older movies, this one doesn’t bother me. I find this pretty amaizing how good actors played people in such a state. But I have one complaint – this movie made me cried so bad and I felt so depressed after watching it. It is hard to watch such sad movies in such sad times.

      • #7791
        admin
        Keymaster

        Emily, it doesn’t really matter if a movie is old or new, what really matters is the story it tells, the convincing dialogue, the acting, etc.

        • #7796
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Of course! I meant that I usually don’t watch older movies because graphics scenography, camera work and sound irritate me, but I liked “Awakenings” so much that I didn’t even pay attention to these things.

          • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
    • #7790
      admin
      Keymaster

      There is a moment in the movie in which an older doctor whom Dr Sayer consulted says that the post-encephalitic patients completely stopped thinking because “alternative is unthinkable”. What do you think about his statement?

      • #7797
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I think he was afraid of thinking otherwise. In my opinion, he meant that if they kept thinking, that would meant that they are aware of what happened to them, and they would see themselves as some kind of machines, as they were able only to respond in a very limited way to a certain things. That would definitely be a horror.

      • #7801
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        For me alternative was really unthinkable. The frustration that patients felt was unbearable. The whole situation was summery in the quote about panther in zoo. Panther was symbol of a bright intelligent mind trapped in disabled body like in cage.
        For me was quite shocking that all of the patients was intelligent bright people and they didn’t show any sings of mental problems.

        • #7809
          admin
          Keymaster

          The alternative was unthinkable but very true. These people were catatonic for years or even decades, but they weren’t in vegetative state. They had consciousness and mental life that no one before their awakenings assumed they had.

      • #7804
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Leonard later on described that when he stops he feels nothing, like he’s dead, but when I heard that statement I felt like it was dehumanizing for the patients, leaving them as just bodies with nothing inside. It could also be an explanation that kept the doctor’s conscience clean and letting him focus. Because I think it’s easier to work on someone’s disease and condition if we think they are not aware of it, rather than have that knowledge in the back of their head that the patient is trapped in his own body.

        • #7813
          admin
          Keymaster

          Despite what he said, we could see that when he relapsed and went back to his catatonic state he was still thinking. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible for him to point to letters on a Ouija board.

      • #7808
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I think it’s easier to believe that they are empty inside and they don’t think at all, because it would be scary otherwise. We don’t now what they actually feel, thinking that they could be actually aware of everything is just too painful. If they were aware of everything, they must have felt like they are trapped. For me he was right, the alternative is unthinkable.

        • #7821
          admin
          Keymaster

          Clive Wearing and Jimmy G. were trapped in the present, Leonard was also trapped but not in present, because his memory was fine, but in his own body.

      • #7810
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I think it’s referring to how the thought of the patients being aware of their state but not being able to do anything about it, is so terryfying that it becomes unthinkable. It’s probalby easier to believe that the alternative is true because the reality might be too scary and painfull.

        • #7824
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          I agree with you, it terrifies me to even think about a life in which you’re aware of what’s happening around you and with you but have no control over it, I can see how this could keep doctors from trying to prove that those patients were living this kind of life.

          • #7827
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            During the movie that realisation hits you especially hard at the end, when the patients stop taking L-dopa and go back to their state from the beginning. After you’ve seen how happy they’ve been to be “awake” again, watching them go back to their previous state, knowing they’re aware of their situation, is extremely painful.

        • #7839
          admin
          Keymaster

          It must be painful to doctors or nurses (at least to the caring ones) and the families. In some way, it’s better to believe that catatonic patients have no consciousness. But just because a person is immobile, it doesn’t mean that they’re unconscious. Consciousness doesn’t reside in our muscles, after all, but in the brain.

      • #7825
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I think the answer to this question came up later in the movie. During the time when all of the patients started getting back to life one of the nurses, Eleanor if I remember correctly, said something about not being strong enough herself to get through everything those patients did. She couldn’t stand the idea of being trapped in her own body for so long, being aware what’s going on around you and not being able to respond. In my opinion this doctor from the beginning was afraid of the exact same things.

      • #7836
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        This kind of thinking is probably a way to avoid thoughts of those people’s misery and so that someone can live without being reminded of others’ pain which they can’t change for better.

    • #7792
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I really liked the movie and found it both very interesting as well as moving. Seeing how the conditioned affected lives of the patients was heartbreaking, especially how much Leonard wanted to live like a regular person. The most saddening moment for me was probably the one when he was about to go to sleep but was afraid that when he wakes up, things will go back to how they’ve been befor. It was also very interesting to see the side effects of using L-dopa and how scary they can be. The ending broke my heart too.

    • #7795
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What I like the most in this type of films is the way they remind you that even when the whole group of people accept the world as it is, one very stubborn character with his perseverance and faith is enough to make a change. In addition, the De Niro’s creation shows his unique talent, which apparently fits not only to gangster characters, but also to show people with diseases. These roles seem extremely difficult to play in a credible way, also because they affect the reception of the disease in the audience.
      I was most touched by the scene in which Leonard meets his mother for the first time since “awakening”. She took care of him all this time and she wasn’t even sure if she would ever have a converstation with him.

      • #7841
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I also admire the actors’ work and their contribution to raise awareness.

    • #7799
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I enoyed this movie a lot. I didn’t expect to like it so much becasue it’s not the type of movies I usually watch, but I was positively surprised. Overall this movie made me really emotional – seeing all these disabled people getting their lives back and then it being slowly taken away from them. It also made me realize how people take the simplest things for granted. For example going for a walk for one person is something they don’t think twice about but sadly for another it’s something they can only dream about.

      • #7849
        admin
        Keymaster

        What movies do you usually watch?

    • #7806
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I loved this film when I saw it for the first time and now, knowing the real story behind it, I love it even more. In my opinion the movie is great in every aspect – the music, the adaptation, the acting. I even found a short documentary about the real Awakenings case and the makers of the film and actors did such a good job trasfering it to the big screen. In fact, Robin Williams depicted Oliver Sacks perfectly. And even though the movie was extremely sad and made me cry at least a couple of times, the creators managed to add a message that I think is really important and beautiful – that we should enjoy life and be happy and grateful for the little things we have.
      Also I can post the short movie I found if anyone is interested ?

      • #7807
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I would like to watch it 🙂

      • #7811
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I’m really interested! I tried to find something like that myself.

        • #7812
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Me too. Could you send us a link?

    • #7818
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This movie is one of a kind. The history of dr Sayer moved me deeply. I truly admired his devotion to the work he was doing, to the people he was treating. Despite all handicaps dr Sayer never gave up on them. I loved the part when Malcolm and Leonard, the first patient who awoke, made a connection and became friends, how they were trying to understand the reality of life together. The ending was moving in two ways. Dr Sayer’s patients returned to the stage of unconscious existence, which made me a little bit depressed even. On the other hand the scene where Dr Sayer asked Eleanore for a coffee gave me hope. Those awakenings made him realise how precious life can be, Leonard taught him to enjoy every moment and Dr Sayer was living to the advice of his friend, who was a ghost again.

      • #7822
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        This moment was also really hopeful for me. Small things are precious and this film gives a lesson of it.

    • #7826
      admin
      Keymaster

      Alexandra mentioned that Dr Sayer was devoted to his patients. What else do you make of him?

      • #7829
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        He did not seem to be self-confident person, but when it came to his patients he did not give up and believed in the possibility of improving their condition

      • #7832
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        He was really caring. It seems like he treated them not only as patients but also as friends.
        I was very moved by the scene when Dr Sayer finds Leonard at the table and ask him to show him what he is writing. When Dr Sayer saw hardly written leonard he seemd so happy, his reaction was honest and beautiful. I think he gave his patients all his heart.

      • #7833
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Despite not being very good with people, he was a kind man. At the beginning of the movie he seemed to be one of the only people who still believed that the patients are not just shells of their former selves and that there’s a way to help them.

      • #7837
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I would say that he was calm, shy, clumsy and a little bit of outsider. It’s pretty weird that was his job to work with people and to help them live better but at the same time he was really awkward with people in private life. What is sure he was passionate with books and science.

      • #7838
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        He was very kind and wanted to do more. Maybe because it was new to him and he hadn’t face the harsh reality yet like he did leter. Also he was not confident nor good with people according to himself but he cared about the other so I think he could change in that aspect.

      • #7842
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        He was a loner, he didn’t want to work with people at first, he wouldn’t want to go for coffee, he just pretty much had his own world in which there weren’t many people present. But he was very kind and caring and very hardworking, and it was clearly shown in the movie that his intentions were to help and to have hope for patients, who have been left without hope for many many years.

      • #7843
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        He wasn’t very good with people but he cared bout his patients. He believed that he could help them and even when other doctors didn’t think the same he wouldn’t give up and was persistently trying to find the solution.

      • #7845
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I think he’s caring and selfless, he wouldn’t give up on is patients. He was also shy, didn’t have much confidence, you could probably even call him weird, awkward and a loner, even though he loved people. I think he said that he didn’t understand people, but at the end of the movie we can see that it changed as he gained courage to ask Eleanor out for a coffee instead of spending another evening with his plants.

    • #7828
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      His not giving up and faith in what he believes in, even when he was the only one. His self-will let him give these patients life for a while.

      • #7830
        admin
        Keymaster

        Weren’t you surprised that privately he was socially awkward and had no clinical experience prior to his work in the “chronic” hospital?

        • #7835
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Well, I was a bit. But I explained it to myself that maybe because of his continual work as a researcher, he would make something up and so it happened next in the film. And his social problems seem to have improved after this whole situation and meeting Eleanore.

    • #7831
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I was really moved by it. I cried when Leonard came back to being awake and met his mother for the first time in this state. Also the end of the movie was so sad that I cried because like the doctor said it’s cruel to give the life back just to take it away next. But it is true what Eleanor said to him then that at some point life will be taken away from us. So basically the moral of it was to focus on things that we take for granted rather than overthinking thing that we can’t do anything about.

      • #7834
        admin
        Keymaster

        Well said, Daria.

    • #7840
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Dr Sayer was passionate of his work, and he was a believer. He didn’t give up, when other psychiatrists would stop and diagnose patients inaccurately. Also he had a very human approach to the patients, when other doctors seemed to treat them like a plants (I think that’s what the movie tried to show by dr Sayer’s interest of the plants)

    • #7844
      admin
      Keymaster

      Watching his patients awake and come back to life, dr Sayer experienced his own awakening. What was it?

      • #7846
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Dr Sayer realised that he was existing in a world really similar to his patients but unlike them, he could talk, move, etc. He needed to awake socially and to start living to the fullest. He learnt a lot from his catatonic patients.

        • #7847
          admin
          Keymaster

          Yes, you’re right. He became more open to people and even found a love interest (the character of Eleonore was made up though).

      • #7850
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I think it was him learning how to start living life and how to open up to people and new experiences. Before he wasn’t very confident and even said that he didn’t understand others well.

        • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
        • #7852
          admin
          Keymaster

          Isn’t it ironic that years later Robin Williams got Parkinson’s disease?

    • #7848
      admin
      Keymaster

      Could you sum up the role of L-dopa in the treatment of post-encephalitic patients and people with Parkinson’s disease?

      • #7853
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        At first L-dopa was responsible for the awakenings, it was helping the patients but after some time it made them worse again. They were having symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease and finally they were back to the stage of lockdown in their own bodies.

        • #7854
          admin
          Keymaster

          Does it mean that in other cases L-dopa was much more effective?

      • #7855
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        It’s supposed to raise dopamine levels in patients brain but if I remember correctly both from the movie and the book, it has to be taken in rather big dosages to have an effect since the brain is build in a way that makes it harder for chemicals from the outside to get to it. It’s basically a miracle with how well it restores movement to its patients but it also has some very heavy side effects.

        • #7856
          admin
          Keymaster

          Leonard was initially administered moderate doses of L-dopa, but later when he started showing side-effects (e.g. tremors or being confrontational), the doses were significantly increased. This, however, didn’t prevent him from relapsing.

    • #7857
      admin
      Keymaster

      Thank you for the discussion.

      – I’m waiting for your summaries I asked for in #7848.

      – Next week, I’d like you to take a test o memory and memory loss.

      – In two weeks’ time, our classes will move to MS Teams. I’m looking forward to seeing your faces again 🙂

      Have a good day!

      • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
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