The story follows a group of teenagers at an all boys private school as their lives are changed by the influence of a unorthodox English teacher. Products of a formal and traditional education system, the boys are being moulded into successful upper-middle class members of society…that is, until Mr. Keating enters their lives and teaches them that there is much beauty in the world, but that life is too brief, and opportunities are scarce, so you must seize the day while you can. The boys embrace this new philosophy and apply it to challenges in their own lives but the results are not what they expected.
This movie is set in the early 60’s in New England…or somewhere in the North East just as beautiful, anyway. There’s a real appeal to spending your teenage years at a prestigious private school, in a beautiful part of the country, in an environment of healthy competition with peers, and absent parents…although, the lack of girls would be maddening.
The scene where Keating shows the students the pictures of past classes is powerful and inspiring. Keating wanted to make it clear that–haircuts aside–those kids were just like you, and no more capable than you are of achieving greatness. But in order to do something memorable you must act, you must “seize the day”.
This is a great film. I give it an 8 out of 10. If you’re only going to own one Robin Williams movie, this is the one to buy.
Follow the link for Dead Poets Society buying options at Amazon.