"Awakenings," the new movie directed by Penny Marshall of "Laverne and Shirley" fame, focuses on the mysterious "sleeping" disease that caused its victims to remain in a trance for as long as fifty years. Based on a true story, the movie depicts the attempt of Dr. Sayer (Robin Williams) to cure this ailment in those who have remained oblivious to what happens around them. Sayer believes that this disease can be treated with an experimental drug.
When he administers it to one particular patient, Leonard Lowe (Robert DeNiro), he almost miraculously wakes up and becomes a normal human being, as if nothing had happened. An entire ward of afflicted patients is also awakened with this drug. The patients are able to make up for lost time, doing what they had never been able to do.
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