Review: Carpe Diem & Dead Poet’s Society

By the end of Dead Poet’s Society (1989), you won’t be able to get the motto “Carpe Diem” out of your head. Dead Poet’s Society is a drama film set in 1959 at a conservative school called Welton Academy. It tells the story of new teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) and his unconventional teaching methods. Keating inspires his class of students through teaching poetry.

The only storyline that is given depth is with the character of Neil (Robert Sean Leonard), who has ambitions to become an actor. His strict  father forbids him from doing so. He wants Neil to go to military school, then enroll at Harvard University for a career as a doctor. The pressure from his father and teachers at school drives Neil over the edge.

Robin Williams gives a fine performance as the boys over-the-top zany teacher. Williams brings a witty yet intelligent characterization to teacher. He articulates his words nicely and makes every word he’s saying meaningful. Williams was honored for his performance with an Academy Award-Best Actor nomination.

Being in a privileged, conservative and strict all boys school, the boys are sheltered from the many things of life. William’s character does unconventional methods of teaching in order to get the boys to start thinking for themselves and questioning the things in life.

Many people might be slightly disappointed by the film. The script does not fully develop any of the characters (including teacher John Keating). Scenes in the in the movie do not seem to fully fit together with each other. Many people might think the film does not explain the characters actions on their pursuit of “Carpe Diem” enough.

Despite any short comings one may experience, the film is sure to give one a new motto to keep in mind: Carpe Diem. Suck the marrow out of life and make your life extraordinary.

Although the ending to life has already been written, one can still compose the story.

Note: Apple recently made a commercial with the voice over of Robin Williams doing the “What will your verse be?” scene in Dead Poet’s Society.  The commercial is promotion for Apple’s iPad Air. Watch below.

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