First-Rate Fall Feels
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“Oh captain, my captain.”
How could anyone ever forget those iconic words? The fall season is the perfect time to snuggle up in a blanket with your wistful thoughts, reminiscing upon the fading summer while taking in the crisp smells of autumn. And what better way to do that then watch a classic movie, like “Dead Poets Society”, to get in touch with your emotions?
I haven’t watched “Dead Poets Society” in a while, but I can still remember the emotions that line stirred in me. And that’s something I love and appreciate about this film. From the wonderful casting to the enjoyable, though rather tired, coming-of-age plotline, I found something to relish in nearly every scene.
The movie opens with some hokey-looking initiation ceremony at an all-boys Catholic school. I admit that I didn’t expect much after five minutes of introductory panning over candles. A much younger Robin Williams (Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Jumanji) appears, and the movie finally begins. Williams, who plays John Keating, is an English teacher for a group of boys, who eventually continue the traditions the Dead Poets Society. In learning under Keating and joining this society, the boys work to find themselves.
Throughout the film, the audience is on a ride, passing through slow dialogue then speeding up through a mischievous teenage male prank. The issues may be outdated, as the movie was released in 1989; however, at the same time, so many of them are relevant to the developing adolescent. The conflict between rules and conformity, change and expression is all-at-once relatable and heart wrenching. I will unashamedly admit I was in the tears by the end.
In a movie like “Dead Poets Society,” there are so many takeaways for anyone of any age and background. I feel that a new understanding comes from every viewing. Like all movies, it has its faults. Why some scenes were included, I will never know. For the most part, everything steers towards one key message: We cannot allow society and those around us to define us; we must define ourselves.
My conclusion: 8 out of 10.
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”