I know I’m breaking protocol by uploading two back to back reviews on movies that weren’t released in the past year, but I recently finished watching Dead Poets Society and I just couldn’t resist. Dead Poets Society is one of those movies that you could watch on a Sunday afternoon, cuddled up in your bed with a large bowl of popcorn end number of times and you wouldn’t get bored. It’s very difficult to come across such movies now-a-days, but I guess that’s why these movies are called classics. I would be lying, if I said I wasn’t in tears at the end of the movie. Dead Poets Society just entered my all-time favorites list.
The movie basically revolves around a group of boys who are enrolled in a hostel and are taught the bland and dull way to live life and how an English teachers breaks their complacency with the help of poems. John Keating (Played by the late Robin Williams) uses poems as a medium to teach and instill the important values of adventure and romance in his students. His unorthodox methods of teaching are more appealing to the students, because it gives them a break from the monotonous routine of the day. John is thought to be eccentric by other teachers just because he didn’t follow the norms of the prescribed ways of teaching. This aspect of the movie is the most appealing and touching for me, as I am a school-going student who can relate to this. How the education system all around the world has turned into a factory to produce scholars and has abandoned the primary motive of it’s existence, knowledge and understanding. John goes onto tell his students about a secret society he and his friends had created. He talks about how they’d convene in a cave across the stream and just read poems turn by turn, discuss them, ponder upon the poets views. They lived, breathed and slept poetry.
“We didn’t just read poetry, we let it drip from our tongues like honey”
Keating inspires his students so much that, their perspective on life completely changes. They start to channel their virility towards understanding the meaning of life and its value and turn into consummate, romantic gentlemen. Keating fulfills his role as teacher, by just not teaching them lessons of Shakespeare, but by being their guiding torch, their mentor through the labyrinth of teenage hostel life.
The movie has numerous iconic scenes and dialogues. The movie also captures the scenario of the school life students at that point of time. Peter Weir, the director of the movie has done an exceptional job to give us a movie that we can connect to. The movie is very basic, sticks to the book and has a very simple plot. Numerous emotions are triggered during the course of the movie, but not once is a viewer overwhelmed with a single triggered emotion. Hostel life of a student is captured perfectly here, and I can vouch for that because I have experienced hostel lifestyle. It made me envious and nostalgic to watch the flamboyance of hostel life spreading across the screen, scene after scene.
“O Captain! My Captain!” The most iconic dialogue of the movie. A dialogue that Robin Williams will be remembered for eternity.
Neil Perry (Played by Robert Sean Leonard), Todd Anderson (Played by Ethan Hawke), Knox Overstreet (Played by Josh Charles), Charlie Danton (Gale Hansen), Steven Meeks (Played by Allelon Ruggiero) and Richard Cameroon (Played by Dylan Kussman) are the band of misfits who the movie revolves around. To avoid spoilers I’m not going to mention how Keating influences each of them. What I will say is that their is sharp contrasting image shift in these characters from what we see in the start of the movie and what we see in the end and every single actor in this movie has given a performance of their lifetime.
Robin Williams shows us why he is one of the evergreens. Even after his demise he continues to inspire me, not just as an actor but also as a human being. This movie is going to inspire generations, because movies like these aren’t made anymore. Dead Poets Society has a message for everyone. It depends on what the viewer infers. But the most important message of the movie which is universal is that we should seize the day and have no regrets. Carpe Diem.