September 26, 2016 6 min to read

Dead Poets Society (1989) Review – Inspirational Movie Monday

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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms” – Henry David Thoreau.

I heard about this movie before I watched it in high school English. I only heard about it in passing but it wasn’t until one of the final classes before Christmas break where I finally watched this movie and it ended up changing my life. This movie taught me so much, as to live for yourself and not let anyone else bring you down. What also kept with me was of course, “Carpe Diem” – Seize The Day. This is one of those movies, where if the world is getting you down, and you want a reassurance in your life that you’re doing things right, plug in Dead Poet’s Society. It’ll open back up those closed doors you think can’t be open, It’ll give you inspiration in ways you wouldn’t think possible, if you let it. It allows you to look at things in a different way.

Dead Poet’s Society is a Drama, comedy film. It is about an English teacher named John Keating who inspires his student to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feeling.

Dead Poet’s Society is directed by Peter Weir. I’m not too familiar with his directing, I’ve definitely seen some of his other films though after looking at his filmography. He was the director of such films like Witness (1985), The Truman Show (1998), and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). I think that Dead Poet’s Society is definitely Peter Weirs best film, its beautifully shot and human. This movie gives me the feels, more now after the unfortunate deaths of one of the best actors/comedians of our time. Which I’ll get into in a bit. Weir made me feel like I was a student at this school, and that I was friends with all these students. He sucks you in with his characters and you stay for the lovely story, but above all you stay for the acting of one brilliant individual…

That individual was Robin Williams. Robin Williams unfortunately committed suicide in 2014, but his memory lives on in his brilliant movie roles. I remember the day he passed away, I turned on Dead Poets Society as I thought it would be a brilliant way to honour his life. Those other movie roles consisted of Popeye (1980), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Awakenings (1990), Hook (1991), The Fisher King (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Good Will Hunting (1997), Patch Adams (1998), Insomnia (2002), One Hour Photo (2002), and August Rush (2007). Everytime Williams graced the screen, you knew you were in for something special, something inspirational or something hilarious, he always delivered. But I think that Dead Poets Society, and his portrayal of John Keating was the best role he ever had. He was unbelievably good in this movie, you loved him throughout and you wanted him as a teacher, in some ways he was a teacher. I’m glad he was nominated for Best Actor in 1990, he definitely deserved it for this role.

The other brilliant acting talent in this movie was Robert Sean Leonard, best known for being Dr. James Wilson in the TV show House (2004-2012). I remember seeing Dead Poets Society after House and all I said when I first saw him on screen was WILSON!! He was superb in his role as Neil Perry. You could really side with him on many of the issues and we’ve all been through that moment where we went behind our parents back and defied them in order to pursue what we wanted. Another great actor in this movie, is the always lovely and talented Ethan Hawke. His filmography consists of such films like Before Sunrise (1995), Gattaca (1997), Waking Life (2001), Training Day (2001), Before Sunset (2004), Taking Lives (2004), Lord Of War (2005), Daybreakers (2009), Brooklyn’s Finest (2009), Sinister (2012), The Purge (2013), Before Midnight (2013), Predestination (2014), Boyhood (2014), and The Magnificent Seven (2016). I thought Hawke has always been a great actor, I know I’m in for a good movie when I see that Ethan Hawke is in it. I still hold Training Day (2001) close to my favourite film he was in, but I think that Dead Poets Society has it beat. He was wonderful in this movie, I usually feel like I fit most with his character. All the acting in this movie was superbly well done.

The soundtrack is beautiful, it fits the class of the film very well, and they’ll be times where I’ll hum the theme song a bit, or think of the music or think of a character and ill watch this movie. The soundtrack is just brilliant, so much so that I have it downloaded on TIDAL, just incase I need to seize the day and I can’t get my hands on a copy of the movie.

Theres times however, where the movie is a little slow, which is great, it allows you to really think about what is going on, and you get to come to terms with your emotions, you get to think about your feelings. You get to feel inspired, and feel like you’re part of something. You feel like you’re taken to a new level of inspired.

I used to watch this movie before I would start writing an essay at school, It would inspire me to give it my all, and do it my way. It gave me a spark that lit a fire in me that I didn’t know could be lit, It just makes me feel inspired afterwards, are you surprised? I hope not, because Inspirational Movie Monday is the title of the series of blog posts.

I find a lot of solace in this movie, hopefully you viewers do as well. If you’ve seen this movie, and maybe didn’t think this way, give it a re-watch, I think this will open your mind a little bit and give you the inspiration that I get out of it.

This is a movie I can watch no matter what emotion I’m feeling, and i’ll always come out with a different outcome, if I watch it the night before something, it gives me the spring I need to succeed the next day. Maybe I should’ve watched this before my most recent job interview… I don’t know if I did seize the day as much as I could.

The comedy in this movie is also really well done, its not like quotable laughter or jokes, but you get so sucked into the atmosphere of the film.

The ending alone is worth the 2 hour film, the ending is my favourite part, its a beautiful ending and the music really fills your body and makes you soar.

You’ll be quoting this film, thinking about this film and living this film for years to come.

I give Dead Poets Society a 5/5, Its just a wonderful and inspirational movie.

“Oh Captain, My Captain”

See You Next Monday, Until Then Stay Inspired!

-Andrew

 

 

 

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