The Dead Poet Society Film Review

Submitted by: Jessica McCarty
A movie, which is still as emotionally stimulating as it was when it first hit the big screen, is Dead
Poet Society. This modern drama effectively uses the aspects of music, splendid acting, and realistic
scenery to create a must see movie that will strike the hearts of its viewers over and over again.

The story is simplistic. It is about how seven young boys who were very strictly raised learn
through an extraordinary English teacher how to live again. However there are many conflicts that must be
faced. The primary conflict is between Neil Perry, played by Robert Sean Leonard, and his father, played
by Kurtwood Smith. Neil dreams about becoming an actor, while his father orders him to become a doctor
and to forget the stage spotlight. Another conflict is the love that Knox Overstreet, played by Josh Charles,
feels or at least thinks he feels for Chris Noel, played by Alexandra Powers. This is the typical boy meets
girl, boy falls for girl but the girl is unavailable. In a nut shell the movie demonstrates the transition from a
boy to a man, where one learns to fend for ones self instead of being told when to sit, how to think, and
what to say. The lesson is simply this Carpe Diem, seize the day.

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Robin Williams conveys a convincing John Keating, an English teacher at the exclusive Welton
Academy in Vermont. His quick wit approach to life that gets the audiences attention is impressive and
effective. His character is one that cant help but be admired for his own bravness when he steps out of the
traditional teaching techniques to give the students something new. Through this new wave of teaching
John Keating is able to develop a a closeness between him and his students which is foreign to the young
minds of the boys. He is the one who shows the boys what Carpe Diem really means. Neil Perry, who is
played by Robert Sean Leonard, is almost a ringleader for the group of boys, he is a temporary fatherly
figure to Todd Anderson, played by Ethan Hawke. When Todds real parents send him the same desk set
as they did the year before for his birthday Neil lifts his spirits by teaching Todd how to make the desk set
fly, literally. Robert plays the well showing how even though for the most part he seemed like an
enthusiastic young man he really is very troubled being ton between what his father wants and what he
wants. When we are first introduced to Todd he is a quiet young man who is following in his legendary
brothers shadow while barley saying a word. By the end however he is the first to salute John Keating
defining the deans direct orders. Ethan Hawke is the perfect choice fore this role. At the time he was just
starting off as an actor and the role really gave his the chance to show off what a talented actor he is.

The directing was marvelously done by Peter Wier who used just the right amount of everything
to keep the audience glued to the screen. Though at the beginning of the movie had a slow start the
wonderfully snow covered mountains and the school which resembles an old castle adds the perfect touch
that is visually simulating to the audience. The director accurately potrade life in 1959 by showing the
kinds of life styles lived by the two types of teenagers that existed, one being the private school kids, the
others being the public school.Further more the music helps to enrich the emotions felt by the audience.
For example the scene were the Dead Poets are running off to there first meeting, as they run through the
woods the mysteriousness of what their first meeting might be like is enhanced by the music played in the
background. Over all the music was mainly classical with a touch of early 60s.The number of special
effects was low but that is because the movie does not require a lot of fancy extras. The main one is when
Mr. Perry finds his son dead in the study, in slow motion he runs to him screaming NO!. The slow
motion shows how for that brief moment Mr. Perrys life stopped.

Over all the film is great for any one to see, the comical relief that Robin Williams gives a
humorous touch to the seriousness of growing up. The film is visually stimulating as well as being
emotionally entertaining. Very few weaknesses exist so it is no wonder that it was nominated for so many
awards.This is the type of movie that can be watched a hundred times and still bring tears to the eyes of
its audience.