Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie review: Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams stars as John Keating, a new English teacher and former student at a tony Eastern boarding school for boys in the 1960s. Most of his students are bored, privileged young men who are just passing time until they can go to college and become captains of industry. Poetry is a class to endure, not something that speaks to them.

Keating shows the boys how to think for themselves, beginning by tearing the introduction on how to rate the quality of poetry from their textbooks, later by having them stand on their desks for a different perspective on the world. These and other exercises encourage the boys to push the envelope of their regimented lives. The results of their adventures also teach the both the boys and the teacher how to take responsibility for their decisions.

Williams is very believable as the teacher who's a little too "out there" for the establishment. His fast-talking patter is used to great effect. A powerful film.

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