There are very few movies which are sensitive & classic enough to make me cry. And this piece of art directed by Peter Weir is also one of them. I mean I first got exposed to the movie while going through web of Life-changing movies for different famous Artists & Directors.
I came across an interview of Boman Irani wherein he explain how he got inspired by the movie. I try to find about the movie in various blogs, websites & movie journals. And even though I had already saw the epic climax scene time & time again in different talk shows & movies countdown on YouTube. I finally grabbed the movie, and watched while I was home from office tired & lazy. But look at the aura & magic of this movie that I got nailed to where I was lying for an hour or so till the movie got finished. And when it does finished, It left a goose-bumpy lasting impression on me, WOW !! Now that's what we call a Classic !
The movie is about bunch of young boys of fictitious prep-school Welton Academy in Vermont, year of 1950s, who were admitted to the Welton with just one hope, channelizing their way to the Ivy league Colleges. The school headmaster Gale Nolan (Norman Lloyd) held some strong ethos about the Welton in form of tradition, honour, discipline & Excellence. But a new English teacher Mr John Keating (Robin Williams), with his unorthodox way of teaching poetry to the students creates a havoc in Welton. A Professor who instructs his students to call him by Walt Whitman's "O Captain my Captain" if they feel enough daring to do so. The mere essence of the movie was 'CARPE DIEM', the latin phrase with meaning "SIEZE THE DAY" which was used by Professor Keating to his Class, and later his students used the phrase in their respective lives. The power of the movie lies in its dialogues & execution.
I had to say Robin Williams acted with best of his arsenals to make some memorable scenes & dialogues. He was one of the only popular actor among bunch of newcomers. Robert Sean Leonard played a role of Neil Perry,an acting enthusiast to perfection. And the agonies & dilemmas of Neil in the movie can easily melt thousand hearts of stone. Neil played a big role in reviving the cult of Keating-led DPS (Dead Poets Society) by convincing almost his every near & dear ones to be the part of it. They use to held secret poetic sessions in the caves. Ethan Hawke played a shy Todd Anderson whose character keep on developing as the movie progress and reach its zenith at the climax scene where little Ethan managed to deliver a gem of a scene. The scene where Keating make him recite a poem on-the-spot, is quite easily one of the best executed scene. It was so innovative to put that scene in the movie. Hats off to the screenplay writer too. And who can forget those lines of Hawke, when he climbed up to the desk in the classroom to shout "O Captain My Captain" as a mark of respect to his teacher Keating. Every time I see that scene, it left the same impact, which shows how some scenes never lose their shine no matter how many seasons & years get passed.
The movie is all about rebel, the movie is about free thinking. Breaking shackles of age-old taboos & ideologies which chained down us as a thinker to the rock bottom, and diminish the new talent in the garb of standard bookish ideas. Keating is a synonym for this angst & rebellion which lies in the heart of new generation. His angst & approach which he demonstrates beautifully by asking students to tear down the page of J Evans Pritchard's methodical approach of understanding poetry. Every scene, every dialogue in the movie has a purpose. The movie itself raise a strong question which it leave unanswered to the audience. The Director & Script-writer decides not to conclude it themselves, which is an artistry also. Not many have guts to make movies like these with similar conviction. Apart from Keating & Anderson, there are bunch of talented teenagers who carried the script on their shoulder so well. Infact, apart from Neil & Todd, my favorite teenage-character was of Charlie Dalton aka Nuwanda. His histrionics were the juice of the movie. Even Knox Overstreet, played by Josh Charles, was the only lover character of the movie which allowed the script-writer to portray the romanticism of poetic journey of kids with Keating. This movie is for one & all. Especially, If I had a School some day, I would incude this movie in the curriculum. Academicians all around the world can still learn a lot from the movie even after 25 years from its release. The characters are so well written, that people can relate themselves from one or the other character in the movie. In the end, I would like to say, no words in the praise of this classic will suffice the enjoyment you'll have watching this Amar Kahaani yourself.
C'mon Say with me "CARPE DIEM"...
MY RATINGS : 9/10