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Robin Williams. My favourite actor for this week and possibly this month.

I tend to
either dismiss or forget my favourites after a short time. It has been about 3 years
since hes passed away, it is only now that I have started experiencing his acting for
the first time, albeit I watched Mrs. Doubtfire as a kid, which was quite the funny
movie from memory. Never really understood the praise of his career, the sorrow of
his death but in Dead Poets Society he plays an instrumental, meaningful role that
gives me that answers my questions. Acting of such purity, untainted by cameras,
script or expectation, Robin Williams shows through as an sincere, truthful
character, filled with the gleam of a child on his 4th birthday, as if he was playing
himself, Robin Williams.

Dead poets society is a story about the relationship of conformity and the inherent
quality of some individuals to pierce through such ideology into one of free thinking,
consciously anyway. Set in Welton Academy, a prestigious all boys high school, the
schools philosophy of tradition, honour, discipline, excellence is reflected in the
teaching and supposedly its students. What happens when a new progressive
English teacher comes in and inspires a change of thinking of a teenage boys?
Probably not resulting in tradition, honour, discipline, excellence . Mr Keating,
played by Robin Williams comes into the school, a former leader of a forbidden
society, Dead Poets Society back when he was a student at Welton. Dead Poets
Society was a society where boys would secretly gather to read and perform poetry,
letting words of wisdom supposedly escape their tongue and into a collective
space. It, no matter how beautiful one thought it was, was condemned by an elite
school focused on results, proven fields that ensured entry into the elite schools of
America and beyond. Poetry and acting was not considered one of those fields.
Nevertheless what results from the teaching ideas of one very dierent teacher and
students whose perceptions of life was still malleable manifests into a surge of
character developments, nuggets of gold which sometimes turned into an idea, the
idea that a boy could be a man he never thought he could be or even thought
about. Of course tradition can never exist without acts of precedent. And without
reason for doing there is no precedent. As a result Welton Academy is one
grounded in tradition, built up by the acts of precedents which is seen in the
schools ideology today. Hence there are inevitable tensions between the parents,
teachers and students, an insight into the harsh and sad realities of pressures from
parents onto their children, and the students responsibility as a member of family.

Robin Williams plays a central character in a meaningful film, one that inspires
passion, encourages thinking beyond the confines of environment and to listen to
that little guy who understands you the most, yourself. His character is full of hope
believing that poetry, beauty, romance and love are what we stay alive for but not
necessarily the visible foundation of individuality that society doesnt always see. An
idealist but grounded somewhat to reality, his notion of teaching is unconventional,
questionable but is inherently dierent . Mr Keating constructs motions that
encourage students to question there learning, societys structures and systems
rather than observing and jotting down mindlessly. The idea that we question what
society tells us is, I think critical, as some members of society have the altruistic
goal of improving society , the way and how is irrelevant. How should society
progress if it is to pass down information from generation to generation without
question? The statement that we stand on the shoulders of giants is true, but i
rather think of it as we stand on the shoulders of giants, poke his eyes a few times,
clean his ears wax and then grow above the giants head into horizons unseen. This
film conveys and champions the need for creative pursuits to scatter across
continents, as the balance of creativity and technicality can be strived for
progressing society into something better.