Dead Poet's Society | Teen Ink

Dead Poet's Society

July 19, 2008
By Anonymous

This is the rousing story of friendship, teamwork, and rising above one’s circumstances. Truly, the characters were exceptional, in the way that they weren’t just static characters – they moved and changed as the audience did, and they gained experience and learned from their encounters with their inspirational English teacher.

One of the most amazing points of the movie was the casting. Arguably, there was no Star, but John Keating, the man who taught his students to “Seize the Day,” was played by Robin Williams, a man who seemed to always have a bounce in his step, yet did the serious scenes just as well. The group of actors acting as peers, authorities, and friends worked well as a collective whole, seeming well adjusted to one another, and, perhaps, even achieved a level of personal friendship beyond that of the movie.

However, even though the casting was very well done in most cases, the acting was sometimes a little unbelievable. In the scenes of grief, it was quite hard to believe that the nearly emotionless boys, with the exception of Todd Anderson, were actually Neil’s friends. Strolling ahead so calmly, as in the scene outside the grounds, with only their dialogue betraying their true feelings, they may as well have been distant relations to Neil, instead of his closest friends, in whom he had confided everything. Todd Anderson, however, was played magnificently, down to every last emotion. Bereft and grieving, Ethan Hawke did a magnificent job in portraying the heartbreak of a boy losing the only friend who has ever led him to believe that he could really do better.

Of course, great actors themselves cannot make a movie – it includes the technical parts: the lighting, the sound effects, and the music. However, the lighting was very shaky. In some parts, it seemed gorgeous – in the rooftop scene between Neil Perry and Todd Anderson, for example, the lighting was just soft enough to seem realistic and still add a touch of romanticism to the scene. However, on the boys’ trek from their rooms to the cave, there was rather a bit too much flashing of the lights. It seemed to be either very, very badly judged effects or simply the mistake of being too realistic. Either way, those flashing lights took a bit too much out of the otherwise dramatic trek to the cave.

The music, as well, was a bit patchy at times. Using clichéd music and overused melodies, they successfully dramatized the movie – making it sappy and overly romanticist, especially for a movie in which romance is not the main theme. Particularly in the death of Neil Perry, the movie rose and fell in a pattern almost identical to the patterns found in other suicide scenes, and the “suspenseful” music was mildly reminiscent of, say, Jaws. And Titanic. And Gladiator. Must the list continue?

Overall, however, the movie was emotionally inspiring, with a difficult message contained within the fun, tragedy, and humor. This movie receives four stars out of five, for managing to get its profound message across without weighing it down so much that it couldn’t fly – much like Todd Anderson’s gift.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Jun. 1 2009 at 4:30 pm
jofin john BRONZE, Carrollton Tx, Texas
2 articles 0 photos 7 comments
I loved this movie

<3JaneAusten said...
on Dec. 20 2008 at 11:29 pm
This is an effective, well- written article; probably one of the best written articles on this board, from what I've seen. It did a good job of communicating the movie's strengths AND weaknesses. Well done!