Sunday, September 9, 2012
Dead Poets Society (1989) review
I'm not sure if I'm overrating this film, but either way, I loved the powerful performances and message in here.
PLOT:It's a new semester at Welton Academy in 1959, and Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke) is new to the high-honors school. A lot is expected of him considering he is the brother of one of their best students. Some of the students who befriend him include the all-around guy, Neil Pery (Robert Sean Leonard), who keeps his passion for actin secretive from his strict father (Kurtwood Smith), and love-struck Knox Overstreet (Josh Charles) among many others. What makes this year different from all the rest is that the old English teacher has retired and been replaced with former student, Mr. John Keating (Robin Williams). Mr. Keating has a very unique vision of being a freethinker through poetry and "sucking the marrow out of life". Things start to pick up when the boys find out that Mr. Keating used to be a member of the Dead Poets Society, which was a bunch of students reading poetry in a cave off of school grounds. The students decide to take Mr. Keating's inspiration and advice and start the Society back up, creating new personalities and passions in each student. It's a very good plot idea executed brilliantly.
ACTING:The performances in here are beyond great. Robin Williams plays the role of free-thinking Mr. Keating very well, as everything this film has set out for him succeeds. I think he should try drama more often than comedy sometimes. The young leads of the students were pretty great too. The shiners aside from Williams would be Robert Sean Leonard as Neil Perry, Ethan Hawke as Todd Anderson, Josh Charles as Knox Overstreet, Gale Hansen as Charlie Dalton, Allelon Ruggiero as Steven Meeks, James Waterston as Gerard Pitts, Carla Belver as Mrs. Perry, Lara Flynn Boyle as Ginny Danburry. The two best young leads in particular were Leonard and Hawke as Neil and Todd, with Charles coming in third as Knox. I saw the most emotion in these characters. Also, it was great to see Kurtwood Smith from "That 70s Show" playing the strict dad yet again.
SCORE:The score was very well composed by Maurice Jarre and director Peter Weir. It was very powerful and emotional.
OTHER CONTENT:This is a phenomenal film. The film packs such an emotional message about how to seize the day before it's gone and enjoy what you have when you can. I believe everyone should see this film some time in their life. It's dark yet uplifting at the same time. It's also a strong statement to poetry everywhere. This film has gotten me into Peter Weir's strong direction.
OVERALL,an epic film with a brilliant plot, very great performances, powerful score, and an emotional punch of a message.