This week’s pick for “Must” is dedicated to Robin Williams as an acknowledgement for his talent and for the great characters he played (check out the article I already wrote praising Robin Williams work by clicking here). It’s probably not the best movie starring Robin Williams but it’s definitely one of the most remarkable ones. In 1989, Peter Weir directed a powerful drama starring Robin Williams about an English teacher who tries his best to inspire his students through the world of poetry. You already know what I’m talking about so, without adding more unnecessary words, this week the movie you must see is “Dead Poets Society”!
Critically acclaimed and nominated for 4 Academy Awards in 1990 including Best Picture (of those 4 nominations, “Dead Poets Society” took home one award for Best Original Screenplay), the winner of the BAFTA award for Best Picture, “Dead Poets Society”, is still known for its inspirational story and for Robin Williams’ great performance as Professor Keating. I’ve seen “Dead Poets Society” a long time ago, during my middle school years, but the memories are still present… A profound story that is not only inspirational but also captivating for both students and teachers since it shows a perfect example of what a teacher can do to improve his students commitment to their work.
So in the 1950’s, Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke), a shy and lonely boy is sent to the school where is popular older brother built most of his reputation. Accompanied by his roommate, Neil, who is exceedingly popular, and his other friends, Todd meets Professor Keating (Robin Williams). Keating was an English teacher who enjoyed taking different approaches when it came to teaching. The young group of students is introduced to the Dead Poets Society and after meeting Keating, their interests and objectives will be challenged by being encouraged to go against the protocol and in the end, after doing what Keating proposed them, their lives will change forever.
“Dead Poets Society” was Peter Weir’s most successful movie at the time and is still remembered and mentioned in several movies with some of its best quotes like “Oh Captain, My Captain!” and the feeling one has while watching it is almost inexplicable. The relationship between teacher and students is represented in a different way, more human and natural and less commanding. Instead of just teaching his students a bit of poetry, Keating was concerned with his students’ interests and therefore he decided to inspire them first to make them realize how amazing poetry was. And even though there are some exaggerations, the great friendship between Keating and his students is like a life changing event that inspired me and allowed me to become more closed with my teachers and treat them as friends sometimes.
The remarkable quotes and Robin and Ethan’s performances are enough reasons to give “Dead Poets Society” a chance. A great tale about family competition and the joy of learning that, 25 years after its release, is still remarkable. For students, for teachers and for everyone, “Dead Poets Society” is a life lesson and a representation of the “Carpe Diem” philosophy on life. A lesson about seizing the day, caring about the things that matter the most and fighting the standards… In the end, “Dead Poets Society” is like a 2-hour long lesson that you will remember for the rest of your life.
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”