Dead Poets Society
(Review below was written on 4/12/2000)
I felt compelled to watch this movie and write a review because of the great love I’ve always had for poetry. Few films really explore, examine, and get into the heart of poetry to reveal its power, significance and beauty.
In a strict prep school, where this movie is set, career-oriented students face a burdensome education. Amongst the drudgery comes their new English teacher, Mr. Keating, and unconventional professor who challenges them constantly to open their eyes to the life that is before them.
These young men learn to strive for what they desire, go against the pack, and find out what is truly important to them. The timeless message of the “dead poets” in the film will relate to any audience- living for the present, enjoying life in youth, and not taking anything for granted.
This is a wonderful screenplay which assures us that words can change the world and compels us to constantly try to look at things in new ways. One should always provide for their future in a lucrative career, but not at the expense of individuality, expression, or the ignorance of the real beauty of life or what the heart truly desires.
The road less taken (rather than conformity) becomes the tempting ideal, and the students learn that seizing the day is the key to making their lives extraordinary. Viewers of this movie can’t help but take into serious consideration the philosophies of Mr. Keating.
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
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