Director: Peter Weir
Stars out of 10: 9.0
DPS is as warm a film as an electric blanket, as rich as history and as likable as any wise old man with inspiring words. First off, I’m a sucker for inspiring movies and since I have recently taken an interest in poetry, connected with John Keating because we kinda share almost the same views on life. Now, DPS is either a really great flick with scenes that you just wanna rewind over and over or an unnecessarily over-rated one. Finally, for once, a decent, mature, flawed yes, movie comes from Hollywood that not only breaks certain stereotypes, like, for example, boys mulling over poetry more than girls, but also makes you come out of your shell and associate yourself with at-least one character. I mean, whether we’re verbal about it or not, aren’t we all really like them, if just a little? If you wanna talk about plausibility, then DPS is a whole lot more plausible than those rebel flicks, any John Hughes one and those 80’s action movies that we’ve come to love. Dead Poets Society is a thinker’s film. No IQ drop here.
The only qualm I have is why didn’t they use English actors, (I’m talking about the boys), giving the English atmosphere of the film. Not to say the American actors were miscast or anything, its just that it could’ve been times better with English actors, because most of the seniors talk in an English accent.
Anyway, Robin Williams has one of those careers that can be divided as hits and misses. Great performances they may be, he has a-lot of misses but DPS is certainly not one of them. It’s a hit, in fact more than that. After watching him in countless comedy roles, it certainly was surprising to see him do a dramatic one. Something that I did not see coming. Although his performance as the charismatic and utterly likable John Keating is of no match to his own performance asSean Maguire, it certainly is one of his damn greatest. He is one of those cool teachers that you wish you had in school, high-school, university whatever. Robin Williams almost perfectly combines comedy and drama, as noted when he gives an inspiring speech and then does an imitation of Marlon Brando and John Wayne. Now that’s class, something you don’t see everyday and something not everyone has the power to do, except maybe, I said maybe, Tom Hanks.
From the others, Robert Sean Leonard was truly excellent and he was the king of all sans-Williams scenes. Nearly all were excellent in their respective roles but Leonard was a rung above than everybody else. The closest was Ethan Hawke as Todd Anderson, a character with whom I quite-associated myself with. I swear, that was me up there, you know. When Keating drags Anderson to the middle of the class and encourages him to say aloud his poetry was something that happened to me, almost similar, but, instead of poetry, it was reading an essay I’d written. That moment won me over and I rewinded that oh-so many times. I may not be exactly like Todd Anderson but we share common characteristics.
In a time where the more CGI the more better your film will be and idiotic high-school movies with unbearable airheads as the lead, Dead Poets Society was a good surprise and certainly one of the films that requires a revisit. 10 times!