In the year of Robin William’s death, Dead Poets Society, arguably one of the finest films of his career, turns twenty-five. Set within the stultifying walls of Welton, an elite boy’s boarding school—a place where individuality is left at the door and education is learnt by rote—Mr Keating, a former pupil of the school returns to teach English to a group of boys. His personal motto is carpe diem—seize the day! Meanwhile, his teaching style is unorthodox.
It’s immediately obvious that the stuffy school elders and well-to-do parents will not approve. As soon as inspiration begins to take hold and enrich the lives of these boys, it’s a matter of waiting to see who will step up to crush their spirits back into an acceptable shape of conformity. Cue a story about Neil and his overbearing father. When Neil’s newly found confidence sees him dare to challenge the life his father has mapped out for him, the consequences are devastating.
Despite having a storyline that we’ve seen in many different guises, Dead Poets Society is still an enjoyable film and one that is worth a watch. It leaves you feeling that you really should seize the day.
Dead Poets Society
Released 9 June 1989