Film Review (Including Analysis) of Dead Poet Society

Topics: Dead Poets Society, Ethan Hawke, Peter Weir Pages: 5 (1977 words) Published: October 29, 2011
Dead Poet Society
Dead poet society is a memorable drama film directed by Peter Weir in 1989. Set at an American prep school in the late fifty’s, it questions several relevant issues, like the particularly strict and old-fashioned reasoning. We follow Neil Perry, a student who is tired of living the life his father has planned for him, and his gang. This semester their English-teacher is a very unconventional teacher called John Keating. His unusual teaching-methods are highly frowned upon by the boarder of the conservative school. Actors and plot

The year is 1959, and a new semester is coming up at Welton preparative school. We can divide the main story about a gang of boys and their teacher into three separate stories. Firstly, and most obviously, we follow Neil Perry, a student who suddenly realizes that he doesn’t want to spend his life obeying his father. His role is brilliantly played by Robert Sean Leonard, who gives and utterly convincing performance. Secondly we star Robin Williams as the new English-teacher. William’s character is the untraditional English-teacher John Keating who encourages students to be independent. Thirdly we follow Todd Anderson, Neil Perry’s new roommate, enacted by Ethan Hawke. Ethan Hawke is remarkably noticeable although his character is the quiet and orderly “new guy”. These three stories are mainly just different aspects of the main theme: Seize the day. Although there are three different stories, they are all a part of one plot. The plot is about a group of young boys, who is just like other boys at that age, curious of life. The new teacher, Mr. Keating, teach them more than just about poetry, he teaches them how to be an individual, how to have faith and self-esteem. All of the boys enjoy Mr. Keating’s class and they are inspired to form a secret club. They find out that when Mr. Keating was their age he had joined a secret society: The Dead Poet Society. The boys are thrilled by the idea of this club, so they decide to open the club again. Every now and then they sneak out into the forest, to a cave where they keep their secret meetings. But the boys are soon to discover that it’s not easy to be independent and liberated in a school founded on traditions. The End

The ending is rather special, both rare and pretty rapt. The mood in the ending is both happy and tragically, because even though everybody found a solution to the conflicts, the outcome was not as happy as one hoped for it to be. Mr. Keating was fired, Neil committed suicide, but then Knox won his girl and Todd found his inner poetic voice. You could call the ending a cliffhanger, because we don’t know what is going to happen next with Knox, Keating, Charlie and Todd, although all of their conflicts were solved in this movie, there will be others in the future. Analysis: Conflicts

There are several conflicts in the movie that creates propulsion. The first big conflict arises when of the boys in the Dead Poet Society named Charlie Dalton publishes a very daring article in the school-paper signed by “the Dead Poet Society”. He gets into a lot of trouble for this, but he chooses not to reveal the names of the other members. Another example of a conflict is the key conflict in the movie, the conflict between Neil and his father. Neil has always based his choices on his father’s opinion. Now he is facing the required 10-yearlong study to become a doctor, even though that is not what he really wants to do. He signs up for an acting role in the school-play, but instead of encourage Neil, his father tells him to drop out of the play. Neil gets the part in the school-play, which is a huge success, and all of a sudden he realizes that he has a passion for acting. He tries to talk to his father about it, but he is unable to tell him about his ambitions, and either way his is father refusing him to drop out of the medical study. In the end Neil shoots himself, because he doesn’t want to spend the next decade...
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