Classic Movie Review: Dead Poets Society

Classic Movie Review: Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society is, arguably, one of the best films to ever be produced.  Dead Poets Society focuses on a group of boys, the “Dead Poets Society,” attending Welton Academy and prioritizes that one should focus on being an individual rather than conforming to the group social standards.

Robin Williams stars as Mr. John Keating, the new english teacher at Welton Academy.  Williams portrays the character as the eccentric professor who encourages his students to question what they want in life, rather than accept their designated place in society.

Robin Williams’ character further represents a symbol of hope to the disillusioned boys in an otherwise bleak and cruel world.

Despite the film’s strong message on individuality, the overarching tones of the film  is dark as the characters are ultimately unable to overcome the social standards imposed on them.

The film is made much more appealing through the relationship between the central protagonists: Neil Perry, portrayed by Robert Sean Leonard, and Todd Anderson, played by Ethan Hawke.

On the surface, Neil Perry and Todd Anderson couldn’t be more different.  Polar opposites, Neil is Welton Academy’s outgoing star student who represents everything that Welton stands for.  Todd, on the other hand, is the introverted new kid at the beginning of the film who would rather stay in the background.

Through their relationship, Todd slowly begins to come out of his shell while Neil finds the courage to defy his father’s strict expectations and pursue his interest in acting.  Although the boys’ situations are unique, viewers can emphasize with the characters.

Dead Poets Society is a timeless film. The central themes are universal and relatable to anyone who has ever felt lost regarding their place in society.