'Robin Williams Seizes the day in DEAD POETS SOCIETY'
Released in 1989 and directed by Peter Weir this epic coming of age film tells the story of a group of boys who attend a traditional 19th century style prepatory school in 1959. It portrays the issues that young adults face when making the passage from childhood into adulthood. Winning an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Dead Poets Society also won thirteen other awards and was nominated for another fifteen.
When painfully shy Todd Anderson played by Ethan Hawke attends Welton Academy, a prestigious prepatory school in Vermont, he is befriended by his roommate Neil Perry who is played by Robert Sean Leonard. Along with their friends Knox Overstreet, Charlie Dalton, Steven Meeks, Gerard Pitts and Richard Cameron they meet their new English teacher, Mr John Keating who is played by Robin Williams. Keating encourages the boys to re-initiate the Dead Poets Society and guides them as they struggle with the issues of growing up and finding their own individual identities in a conformist environment. This ultimately leads to un-foreseen consequences in which the boys are challenged think about who they are and find the courage to be true to themselves.
Written by Tom Schulman, Dead Poets Society is semi- autobiographical and is loosely based on Schulmans education at Montgomery Bell Academy, a prepatory school in Nashville, Tennessee. The story is one that many can relate to exploring themes that often occur when growing up. The script is witty and is appropriate for the era and the time the movie was set. It is also appropriate for the ages and background of the characters with the students speaking like teenagers and teachers speaking in more educated manner.
The use of a wide range of different camera angles, the extreme close-ups and the different tones of lighting give the scenes a more dramatic effect. The score, which was written by Maurice Jarre sets the mood for the scenes. The music is not too complicated or forceful but its simplicity is what makes the music wonderful and compliments the film so perfectly. In the film contemporary music is sometimes used which helps set the mood of the time.
Robin William seizes the day in Dead Poets Society. He portrays his character the inspirational Mr John Keating with enthusiasm and shows the real extent of this dynamic acting. Neil Perry is smart and popular but is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father who wants him to become a doctor. Neil is played by Robert Sean Leonard who later went on to play a doctor in the 2005 TV series House. Leonard plays Perry with emotion and enthusiasm grabbing the audience and keeping their attention. Ethan Hawke plays Todd Anderson who is shy and quiet. He portrays Anderson well especially in the more emotional scenes when he finally speaks out.
Dead Poets Society deals with most of the themes that occur in any good coming of age film. The main theme is Carpe Diem, seize the day. Mr Keating encourages his class to seize the day and make their life extraordinary. The boys, especially the members of the Dead Poets Society incorporate this as their motto and use it as their encouragement. Another theme or issue is identity and individuality. Each boy, especially Neil is seeking their own individual persona away from the conformist behaviours of the school, their parents’ wishes and the rest of their peers. Unity is identified when the Dead Poets Society comes together and supports each other and also when the unity is betrayed. Other themes that are explored are sexuality, coming to terms with mortality/death, realism versus idealism, authority versus non-conformity and rebellion.
Even though Dead Poets Society was set 50 years ago every issue and theme is still relevant in growing up today and will stay relevant for years to come. Dead Poets Society is sure to become a classic of our time. I give this a film a rating of four and a half stars out of five. Are you prepared to seize the day and check out Dead Poets Society for yourself?
O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Haha this was my English assignment...we had to do a review for a coming of age movie, pretty good aye :) It's a bit corny and stupid and shit but remember i'm only in Grade 9. I had to do it as an oral presentation. OMG only 9 days of school left for this year :D
Love Pixii xox