So I've been summoned back to this unearthly shambling necrotic monstrosity of a blog once again. Today, I watched a movie named Dead Poets Society. You may have heard of it. I hadn't. Well, I suppose I have now.
Dead Poets Society is about, you guessed it, the Dead Poets Society. In a conservative all-boys Vermont school, a group of boys is inspired by Mr. Keating, their eccentric English teacher, to revive the legacy of the titular secret literary club that he had once belonged to. Some teenage drama happens, the kind of things that happen in an all-boys school. Romance, getting in trouble with teachers, the works. Then one of them commits suicide, everything goes to hell and Mr. Keating gets fired. In essence, that's the plot.
It was an interesting experience, to say the least. Overall, I'd give this movie a seven out of 10 (yes, I remember Mr. Keating's speech about mathematically scoring art). While thought-provoking and fairly interesting, I also found it spectacularly dull at times for the cliches it invokes and the sheer predictability of its teen drama. Dear scriptwriter – if I wanted to see teen drama, I would take a stroll in my school. I watch movies to get away from teen drama.
Enough of that. Robin Williams is fantastic in the role of Mr. Keating, as are some of the boys' performances, and there is really no other complaint I could have about the film. Unfortunately, this is where its weakness lies – it dwells in the pit of mediocrity, where good-but-not-great films languish. There are a few moments, mostly involving Mr. Keating's antics, but most of Dead Poets Society is forgettable setup. This is a movie where I can truthfully say, for two parts out of three, I'd rather be out and about instead of watching the painfully slow teenage shenanigans of its main characters unfold. That's my two cents.
It may be that I'm biased towards speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy, as that's where most of my attention lies, but that's my viewpoint. I appreciate a realistic exploration of the trials of puberty every once in a while, but I believe it has to take the subject matter and turn it into something truly extraordinary to be worthwhile.