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“Dead Poet’s Society” Review


“Dead Poets Society” depicts fall beautifully while also displaying boyhood accurately. After finishing the film, I remember sobbing in my bathroom like a baby because of how much this film meant to me. “Dead Poets Society” is a masterpiece that has been held up for more than 30 years– a film that truly deserves its success. 

“Dead Poets Society” is a wonderful, layered film that was released in 1989. The cast includes Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, and Robert Sean, all three cast members producing in-depth and admirable performances. Williams’ character is perceived as a father figure, while Hawke’s and Sean’s characters are teenage boys who are struggling in their school life. 

The film takes place in 1959, at Weldon Academy, a highly conventional New England boys’ prep school. Parents hope their children will aspire to Weldon’s values, despite the fact they are mentioned in a sarcastic manner. Weldon becomes home to the boys, where they create many memories. 

The film begins as John Keating, Robin Williams, returns to the school where he once was a star student. Only this time, he returns as an English teacher and decides to devote his time at Weldon to broadening his student’s minds with the use of poetry and literature. He’s warm, passionate, kind, and thoughtful, creating a healthy atmosphere for the boys and a safe space with his ideas and mentality. 

Meanwhile, Todd Anderson, Ethan Hawke, has been transferred to the same school where his well-liked, elder brother was once valedictorian. He’s quiet and reserved, failing to fill the shoes of his older brother. Anderson enjoys poetry, yet often sees his work to be not good enough. Throughout the film, Anderson experiences a layered plot development. Hawke’s performance is soul-crushing and perfectly crafted. 

Despite being extremely intelligent and well-liked, Neil Perry, Anderson’s roommate, is heavily influenced by his domineering father. Perry yearns to rebel against his family and when meeting John Keating, he sees a model of what rebellion should look like. From this rebellion, he decides to become an actor and in turn, is casted in a Shakespeare production. 

Both students fall under the influence of Keating’s way of life and, eventually, are introduced to the Dead Poets Society. The society pushes students to challenge the established quo and to reject societal norms. The film follows the transformations characters go through, for the better or worse, each in their own unique way. 

“Dead Poets Society” is an extremely clever movie that is compelling to watch and leaves you thinking long after. It’s a must-see film for all ages, but especially for young adults who despise English. I felt this movie did an incredible job of encapsulating the teenage experience and showing growth among the characters. 

The film holds a deeper meaning to many enjoyers considering Robin Williams’ suicide in 2014 and the connections to how this film tackles the heavy topic of suicide and its weighty effect on those struggling. 

The storyline is captivating, the characters are endearing, the concepts are profound, and the cinematography is delightful. In the end, this movie shatters you, yet I remain thankful for what it made me feel. 

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About the Contributor
Luca Hinesman
Luca Hinesman, Journalist
Luca Hinesman is currently a Sophomore at Community High School and a believer in buying expensive coffees. When not in CET rehearsals or mock trial practices, you can find them reading books about revenge, catching up on homework, or hanging out with friends. Luca is currently in their first semester with The Communicator and is excited to contribute their ideas this year!

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