Have you ever watched a movie seemingly hundreds of times because you just love it so much? Do you find yourself quoting the film throughout the day? Is that movie the first thing you suggest to people to watch?
I’m in this situation on a constant basis with my favorite movie Dead Poets Society (1989) directed by Peter Weir. It is the most influential film I have ever seen, as it portrays a coming of age story centered around seeking individuality in a world that tries to suppress it. I try to talk about it whenever I can simply because it is the best movie I’ve ever seen, and I want other people to experience it too!
As a college student and an aspiring teacher, the lessons taught by John Keating (played by the iconic Robin Williams) act as words of encouragement and wisdom that fuel my passion for educating young minds. The characters and their actions towards seizing the day help to embolden and inspire me on countless occasions.
I’d have to say that the acting in this movie is one of the many things that make it phenomenal. The young men acting as the roommates Todd Anderson and Neil Perry are incredible and genuine. The entire group of young men that they befriend are complicated, hilarious, and authentic characters who are realistic in their portrayal as students at a strict boarding school.
Robin Williams as the inspiring and gifted teacher, Mr. Keating, who aids them in their quest for individuality is one of favorite acting performances by him ever. There’s still a lot of wise cracking between him and the boys, but there’s also an increase in his loving, down-to-earth attitude that helps the audience see a more genuine side to him. I love his comedic roles, but his acting in this serious part is by far one of the best and most sincere portrayals.
Of course, the most inspiring thing to come out of this movie are the numerous quotes. For me, every word to come out of John Keating’s mouth is a verse of brilliance. Just as the students take his different mantras to heart, I try to “seize the day” and live out an extraordinary life. I believe this film is the best because of the powerful messages it provides about life, love, and standing up for yourself and what you believe in.
As an English major who is obsessed with poetry and the words of American authors in particular, I am in love with this movie because of its inclusion of many quotes from individuals like Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, and Shakespeare. Reading poetry and having the opportunity to write their own helps to encourage the boys to channel their thoughts and feelings, learn about the world in new, exciting ways, and share what is truly valuable to them.
I cannot recommend this movie enough. Whether you’re a student, a teacher, a parent, or just someone who’s looking for something different to watch, Dead Poets Society is guaranteed to change your outlook on life and help you to see the value in human relationships.