Starring: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard
Director: Peter Weir
Running Time: 128 mins
Dead Poets Society is an American film about an English Literature teacher at a prestigious boys’ boarding school who teaches his pupils to love poetry and seize the day.
This film, while a little slow-paced, was pretty hard-hitting. Despite half of it being about poetry and literature, things of which I’m definitely not a fan, it had a much stronger story regarding how young people in these prestigious institutes have their ambitions crushed by the tyranny of the pretentious mindset of their elders.
Nonetheless, before the most heavy-going parts of the film arrived, I found this film to be quite a lot of fun. With Robin Williams at the helm, acting as a brilliantly inspiring teacher, there’s no reason not to laugh along at a lot of the zany antics that go on in his classroom.
However, it’s not just the fun element of Robin Williams’ more unorthodox-teaching character, but also the fact that he is so inspirational. I’m sure this is one of the main factors to the modern ‘carpe diem’ movement, and that’s just a testimony to how strongly you feel inspired by his character.
Away from that, there are also some other great performances. While I thought that Ethan Hawke was a little dull and gormless to start with, we see him develop with the help of Robin Williams, resulting in quite an intriguing performance from him, and other actors such as Robert Sean Leonard and Kurtwood Smith put in sterling performances to really get their characters known in this story.
That’s also one of the main things about this film. There’s not really one particular main character. We use new boy Ethan Hawke for some helpful exposition, but apart from that, you don’t really think of anyone else as above the other in terms of the story, which allows to survey and become interested in almost all of them.
Despite all of that, I will say that the pacing of this film did lead me to struggle a bit in the middle stages, where there was a little less development. It was a fun opening, and then a stunning ending, but in the middle of the film, I couldn’t really keep myself as fully engrossed as I was initially, but anyway, this gets a 7.9 from me.