Dead Poets Society
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In an age defined by crew cuts, sport coats, and cheerless conformity, he not only broke the mold ... he reinvented it. Academy Award(R) winner Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor, GOOD WILL HUNTING, 1997) delivers an extraordinary performance in one of the most compelling motion pictures of all time. Williams stars as English professor John Keating, a passionate iconoclast who changes his students' lives forever when he challenges them to live life to the fullest and "Carpe Diem" -- seize the day! Keating's unconventional approach meets with irrepressible enthusiasm from his students, but the faculty at staid, exclusive Welton Academy prep school is, to put it mildly, not amused. Featuring a star-marking performance by Ethan Hawke and over three hours of never-before-seen bonus materials, this Special Edition of DEAD POETS SOCIETY will captivate and inspire you again and again.
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On the movie itself. I remember seeing this movie at a very opportune time in my life. It was summer of 1990 and I was months away from entering an all-boys high school. Nothing like this in which you have dorm rooms and such but still all-boy, Catholic with a dress code of casual suit attire. I remember not believing the absurd conformity rules the school in this movie (Welton) expected its students to adhere to.
Of course I was rudely awakened my first half year of school. Thankfully this movie allowed me to keep my sanity in such an environment. The acting in this movie is so free and natural you forget you are watching a movie and think more of just watching normal kids going through their high-school years. Schools need more teachers like Mr. Keating no matter how infuriating they may be to the "main stream" faculty.
Watch this movie to set your heart and mind free of society's norms and let yourself imagine the eternal question, "What if?"
To people like myself who are not living the life that exists in their dreams every scene with the eccentric Mr. Keating and the young boys of this private school serves as a canvas of self-examination for this viewer because I saw myself in each of these young people. Many of them wanted something other than the status quo, but struggled to break free from the roles that their immediate society cast upon them.
If this personal examination takes place, certain questions emerge such as: what are we so afraid of? If we died tomorrow would we be happy with the life that we have lead. In the two-three weeks since I watched this film, I can tell you that if you answer a resounding no to the above questions, you need to reexamine your life and if a movie can start the process, then it must be a powerful experience.
Anyone who is a romantic and reasonably well educated would love this gorgeous work. Watch Williams' face - that's worth the whole movie especially in light of his tragic passing. This is a superb film and captures the many colors of the boarding school experience of discovery, experimentation and triumph against the norm.
As Williams' character confronts to stultifying presence of the captains of the status quo we can only suffer with him and recognize those same influences all around us - or maybe you may find yourself aligned with Muggles. If you are a Muggle this film might make you uneasy.