Robin Williams stars as an English teacher who doesn't fit into the conservative prep school where he teaches but his charisma and love of poetry inspires several boys to revive a secret society with a bohemian bent. The script is well-meaning but a little trite, though director Peter Weir (The Truman Show) adds layers of emotional depth in scenes of conflict between the kids and adults. (A subplot involving one father's terrible pressure on his son--played by Robert Sean Leonard--to drop his interest in the theatre reaches heartbreaking proportions). Williams is... given plenty of latitude to work in his brand of improvisational humour, though it is all well-woven into his character's style of instruction. --Tom Keogh [show more]
Directed by Peter Weir, the Dead Poets Society is an interesting Period Drama. The film is set in the 1950's at Welton Acadamy, a private senior boys school.
The headmaster, Mr. Nolan (Norman Lloyd) is uncontrolably, controlling the school with old traditions. A new English Professor, John Keeting (Robin Williams) inspires the students to a love of poetry and to think their own mind - complete contrast to the controlling Mr. Nolan.
Meanwhile, student, Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard) has re-discovered the Dead Poets Society, which inspiring, rule-hating, understanding Mr. Keeting used to be a part of when he attended Welton. At first, student, Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke) was reluctant to join Neil and his friends in the Dead Poets Society but eventually he was persauded. So the classmates escape from the boarding school each night, go to the dark, damp cave and read poems.
The highlight of the film to me was when the students were in the cave and a few of them read out some poems. When Steven Meeks (Allelon Ruggiero) came to read out his, he turned it into a song. All of his class mates started whispering 'Meeks', drumming their torches with sticks, clapping, dancing and joining in with the song. I liked that part best because it made it more interesting, fun and it was like i was actually there. I can almost promise you that you would like to join in. In that scene the camera work, sound and lighting worked really well because in the cave it was pitch black apart from a few of the students torches. Their was no non-diegetic sound which made it more like you were a part of it and the camera work worked well because it was very simple - the camera stayed still and occasionally zoomed in a little, which helped to make you feel a part of it. The camera was mainly doing a medium shot, so you wern't too far away but not too close.
I do not think there were any scenes that didn't really work, i think they all flowed into each other well and made a great film.
Overall i think The Dead Poets Society is a family-friendly film and almost anyone will enjoy it. All the actors played their part well and the camera work was used effectively. There were funny parts all the way through but quite a few serious scenes in which small children may not enjoy as much. I would reccommend this film to every-body but be ready for a surprise at the end!
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Inspiring and eccentric English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) provokes an outbreak of creativity and idealism amongst the stuffy Welton Academy class of 1959. However, both repressed parents and more conformist staff members protest in favour of educating the pupils in a more traditional manner, with tragic results.
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. John Keating (Robin Williams) is an eccentric teacher who returns to teach in his childhood school. The message he gives to his students is to experience life for themselves. Consequently, several pupils reintroduce 'Dead Poets Society' of which Keating had been a past member. Secret, late night meetings take place as the pupils break out from the confines of the school.