Writer: Tom Schulman (Screenplay)
Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero
Plot: English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.
Tagline – He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.
Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: One of the Greatest Movies
Story: Dead Poets Society starts as the new school year is starting at an elite boarding school for boys, Todd Anderson (Hawke) is following in his brother’s footsteps by attending, shy and not fitting in with the others. Neil Perry (Leonard) is the charismatic leader of a study group, following his father’s instruction to become a doctor, he welcomes Todd into their group.
The English teacher is a former student John Keating (Williams) who uses different methods to get his message over, including letting the boys know about his former club, ‘The Dead Poets Society’ this gives the boys a chance to experience poetry, both reading and writing, giving the boys a life lesson, no teacher could ever teach them.
Thoughts on Dead Poets Society
Characters – John Keating is the English teacher that has returned to the school he attended to teach the boys. He has unorthodox methods to teach life lessons to show them that learning doesn’t have to be boring, it can be enlightening. Todd Anderson is the shy new guy in the school, he is taken under the wing by the confident Neil and with both Neil and John motivating him to come out of his shell, he becomes the boy with the potential. Neil Perry is the class leader of the students, he is confident even though he is living the life his father wants him to, the father than has control over him, he pushes by following his own dreams of being an actor, showing the pressure a parent can put on their children.
Performances – Robin Williams was at the peak of his talents here, he shines in his role which isn’t as loud as previous films, he keeps his performance restrained which is needed to be the leader his character it to the boys. Ethan Hawke is good in this movie, he did break out with his performance of a character that is the one that needs to come out of his shell the most. Robert Sean Leonard is wonderful, he shows the strength around the fellow students and the weakness around his father, which gives us the perfect example of the pressure his character would be feeling.
Story – The story follows the one teacher that wanted to teach his students to follow their dreams, show their potential to the world, instead of just being part of the system. We follow part of the year which shows how John Keating inspires the boys to go come out of their shells, one to become the person he is hiding from, another to go against his father’s wishes, one to stand up against the whole system and one to be able to show his love for a girl. This shows us that not everything needs to be by the book and different directions can help people learn more than ever before.
Comedy – The comedy for the film helps take the film to a light-hearted nature instead of just being a serious drama which is what John Keating is trying to show the boys, life isn’t all serious.
Settings – The film takes part in the boarding school, this shows the rules and regulation the boys are being taught to follow, which gets reflected in how the boys are being taught differently by Keating.
Final Thoughts – This is easily one of the great movies of the 80’s one of the best of Robin Williams career and one that should inspire all to achieve greatness.
Overall: Simply Great.