DEAD POET’S SOCIETY – review by Shelley T

 “This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls.” A fantastic quote from the character John Keating, played by Robin Williams. I don’t know what it is about Dead Poets Society that is so charming. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautifully done movie, but it has this interesting trait: now that I’ve watched it, I think about it more than I would the usual good movie. Sure, you see a great movie and you think about it, but I mean this movie really made me THINK. I may even be so daring as to say this movie pushed me in a way I haven’t been pushed before. It gave me a very light, deep wake up call. It’s not particularly life changing but seeing it really made me stop for a second and rethink a few things. Written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir, and starring a great cast consisting of Robin Williams, Robert Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles and many more, Dead Poets Society is a better movie than I expected.

The movie began slow, I admit I actually had to pause it and walk away for a little just to get past the beginning. I couldn’t relate to the characters very well, the story was at it’s large introduction part so I barely even got to start to learn the characters names before I just gave up and said I’d get back to it later. But suddenly! I didn’t even see it coming, I just got hooked! The entire movie seems to speed up after a point and Robin Williams’ character was incredible! I loved getting to know the boys, though they tended to be so similar it took me a little bit to be able to differentiate between them all. While a small amount of the acting wasn’t particulary good, I like to think that the actors did very well in Dead Poets Society and not even once did they mess up bad enough that I fell out of tune with the movie/character. This movie made me feel upset, it made a tear come to my eye, it made me giggle and it made me absolutely furious. It’s a wonderful experience to be able to truly relate your emotions with those of the characters in the movie. Whether or not you really like the movie will probably depend on how much of a dork you are. I’m a pretty big dork, so I just had so much fun watching the quirky, inspired characters enact their stories.

“What “Stand and Deliver’s” Edward James Olmos did for logarithms, Williams aims to do for iambic pentameter in this lively blackboard melodrama. “ Rita Kempley of the Washington Post states about this movie. It’s fully of young, spunky teenage boys and one particularly interesting teacher. Their adventures begin after Mr. Keating talks to them for the first time and the movie rolls along smoothly! Many claim that they have just made up side-plots to keep things interesting but I truly believe that it’s a good representation of what their teenage lives would feel like. They’re going through a school year, it would probably get monotonous if we didn’t follow some of the bigger events in their lives. While Dead Poets Society is occasionally overdramatic, it fits because the entirety of going through puberty is a very dramatic experience. The characters are believable, the plot is very believable, and I didn’t notice any flaw in the relatability.

If you are in high school, you will probably love this movie. If you haven’t grown far past your high schooling years, you’ll probably love it too. The only people who might not like this movie are the people who have forgotten what it’s like to be young.

Dead Poets Society’

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
June 09, 1989


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