With the recent passing away of actor and comedian Robin Williams I felt it was necessary to review one of his most well-known roles, The Dead Poets Society. Having never heard of this film before the tragic news of his death I sat down to watch it to see what all the fuss was about. At the beginning a slow paced film, the Dead Poets Society soon captivated and filled me with a sense of motivation thanks to the inspiring words of Williams through his character. The film follows mainly the lives of a group of teenage boys who find themselves inspired by English teacher Mr Keating (Williams) through poetry, literature and prose. In their English lessons they are shown new ways to view the world in which they live and begin to challenge the social structures and expectations of their parents. Brought up in luxury and privilege, the boys lives seem to be set on course to become lawyers and doctors, however upon the arrival of Mr Keating they are thrown into a world of possibilities which leads some of the boys to consider alternative career paths in their lives, such as acting.
The unorthodox teaching methods and life lessons of Keating are challenged by the other teachers and parents at the school, which only makes the boys more willing to defend their teacher and their new found beliefs. The film references many poets and authors, and teaches the audience, as well as the boys at the school, that independent and unique thought it not to be frowned upon but encouraged and praised. A sentiment that is not shared at the school, whose motto is ‘tradition, honor, discipline and excellence’. With some dark, and at times sad, themes this film which will make you both cry and laugh. Overall it was an amazing film which I would definitely recommend to anyone.