IMDb Top 250: #250 Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Director: Peter Weir
Writer: Tom Schulman
Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

***

What a movie to start this challenge with. One of my favorites, and a must see for any creative individual. Robin William’s character might be the most amazing teacher in any movie ever created.

I do not know if I can write a better review than stating this obvious fact: it is one of three movies that ever made me cry. Of course, some of you might consider it naive in certain aspects, but then you’d be quite cynical about life itself if you’d interpret this movie in this manner.

It’s a cage something, isn’t it? Education. Society. The way we are supposed to act, the way we are expected to act or say or do. But, truth is, we often trap ourselves. We often think that because a system has been in place for a long time, then it must be a good one.

To think for yourself in a world where you are constantly told what to think is a revolutionary act indeed.

That’s what I enjoyed so much about this movie. I was quite the rebellious teenager, did what I wanted in high school and nothing bad happened to me because I was one of the promising writers of my generation. But the truth is, I am still a rebel. I do not understand the idea of sacrificing who you are for anything in this world. Not for money, not for comfort, not even for acceptance. We are only here for a short while.

Robin Williams delivers one of his most brilliant performances. He states the obvious philosophy behind doing the things that make you glad to be alive with passion and humor. Carpe diem!

***

The first thing I have to mention about writing this review is that I am not a writer. But I love the idea of being able to write. And when my best friend came up with this project of working on movie reviews with him, I said yes without thinking.

I remember the first time I saw this movie was almost 10 years ago when I was still in high school and trying to find myself in a society that was ordering you to be anything but yourself. So when I saw one of my favorite actors in a role that suggested creativity, being rebellious and being true to yourself, I fell in love.

And for sure that I’m not the only one who felt this way. A lot of people can find themselves in the message of this movie. Dare to dream. Dare to be creative. Dare to be you. Dare to say no to the rules that society tries to force upon your soul.

Robin Williams plays the greatest role model one can hope to have in high school. A performance that should have brought him his first Oscar. He plays an English professor whose main purpose isn’t to help his students understand poetry, but rather to help them feel poetry and in doing so, he tries to make his students live their life. To try to think for themselves.

He portrays the rebellious thinker in a conservative society whose main purpose is to show young students that it is OK to be rebellious. In a society in which a parent does not allow his own child to follow his heart and forces him down a path because “he knows best”, he is a bright spot that encourages people to do what they want, to live their life as they desire, because in the end we will all be “fertilizing daffodils”.

So for the young man in me who looks to find himself and for everyone who dares to dream, this is a must see movie. Because this is what everyone should aspire to become. “Seize the day. Make your life extraordinary”.

 

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2 thoughts on “IMDb Top 250: #250 Dead Poets Society

  1. I show this movie in my classroom after I teach about transcendentalism. For students who roll their eyes at the dense material that is Emerson and Thoreau, this helps. It’s hard for them to get past all of the language of the time and realize that the people who stood for the right to be individual are, really and truly, the founding fathers. Plus, Robin.

    • I think it’s a great movie to show in a classroom. It also acts as a metaphor that you must see things from a different perspective. If someone finds something fascinating, while you find it boring or naive, well it’s best to try to see things from their perspective. Ask yourself what makes that person fascinated with such a thing. It’s one of the important lessons when it comes to thinking for oneself.

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