Friday, July 9
I've been hearing some flashy recommendations regarding this movie for quite a while now. Finally, it was bound to happen: I saw Dead Poets Society.
Apparently, I have an artsy personality thus I was supposed to appreciate this set of "killing the man" gestures. Before any of my brutal opinions hit anything, I should mention that I despise anything that shouts "Carpe diem!" too much and, of course, I utterly hate poetry. So you can imagine the following...
Not only have I acknowledged that Robert Sean Leonard looked absolutely the same his entire career but also that the social values are mostly the same. A lawyer still weights more than an actor when it comes to respect. Parents are still frightened by their children's future threatening decisions. The only difference is that our kids don't form a bohemian alternative society based on their strong beliefs. No, sir. Our kids would rather spend time gossiping or watching porn than actually thinking at something with depth.
The plot follows Mr. Keating (Robin Williams), a newly arrived English teacher at an all-boy religious high school. What is so special about this man? Well, he is able to teach some horny young dudes how to appreciate poetry at its best, how to express feelings through it and how to "suck out all the marrow of life" (or, in case it sounds too infectious, to live deep). Moreover, he gains the admiration of his students and, as a reward, he shows them how to think for themselves.
In a school where tradition and rough discipline are overrated you sort of suspect that this unorthodox teacher wouldn't resist in such an environment. Revolutionary ideas aren't at all pleasant for an old guy who still thinks that spanking is a proper punishment for a teenager. One of the students commits suicide because of his father's constant pressure. The father doesn't want to be blamed so he asks the school to make an inquiry. The school sees the opportunity to kick Mr. Keaton's ass out of their honorable values therefore, he is fired. In the end, he realizes that his efforts weren't in vain.
Passing the oh so honorable morale of this film, I think the cast was excellent. Seriously. Rarely can you see a bunch of actors identifying so well with their characters in the same movie. I guess all of them were inspired to become "dead poets" one day. What really sucked was the soundtrack. I honestly hate bagpipes.
Even though this is a cinematographic evolution headed for changing the 90s, I'm still not convinced. The script is very good and the action is well-preserved but something bothers me. Peter Weir made an enormous mistake which turned every page into a Days Of Our Lives episode. Meaning it was damn boring! If it weren't for the sudden changes of situation, I think I would have fallen asleep. I know it doesn't sound very dramatic but I'm running out of options. Since I am certainly not a professional bully critic, I can't seem to find the mistake.
By the way, the poster sucks too. Looks like a Penguin's edition of Jane Eyre.