The Purpose of Life
The Purpose of Life Website Ministry
Here's the original 1989 theatrical trailer for Dead Poets Society
This is a film that you'll either find boring or thoroughly enlightening! In Dead Poets Society (1989), Robin Williams stars as an English professor in the 1950's whose unconventional teaching methods in a strict boys academy in America comes under close scrutiny. He encourages his pupils to express themselves, to use their imagination and to 'make your lives extraordinary.'

The classic Latin phrase 'Carpe Diem' is used often, meaning 'seize the day' i.e. make the most of it, go for it, take a leap of faith, etc. It's the core theme in many respects. The story also reveals the various dispositions of people, and the meaning of true friendship, and, of course, some love and romance - and also the fact that 'boys will be boys.'
The thing that stands out the most to me in this film is the difference between the traditional system of the school, with its suppressive, legalistic, self-righteous rule, and the teaching of John Keating (Robin Williams), who tries to free his students from conformity to a system that denies or suppresses individual freedom; and he encourages them to pursue truth and enlightenment. His teaching embodies much that is of the Spirit of God (especially the contents of the book of Ecclesiastes).

To me, the school represents much that is of the religious establishments that have become a little lifeless and legalistic. It's very much the battle between Law and Grace. The movie also highlights the need for discipline and order to some degree, rather than advocating anarchy and foolishness - an area where balance is needed rather than extremes.
It does get a bit intense, towards the end, dealing with the subject of suicide brought on by the pressures of life, particularly the kind that manifests itself as an uncaring, dominant, controlling force that doesn't listen. Sadly, there are many people who feel trapped in their lives, and they become so depressed that killing themselves seems to be the only way out.

In some respects, I can understand that, but I believe that there is another 'way out' - and the answer is found in Jesus the Christ. He is the Door to a whole new world of amazing freedom and possibilities, and through him we can truly find liberty and restoration from our own failings and the failings of others that have affected us.
Robin Williams is fairly subdued in this role, more so than he usually is. He brings some good humour to the part, with a few voice impressions thrown in, which he does so well.

There are many classic quotes from various poets and philosophers throughout the film, including '
Two roads diverged in front of me, and I took the one less travelled by'. At one time I was only aware of this phrase because of a Larry Norman song!

There is certainly a lot to appreciate in the art of language, literature and music, and much more besides. God created all things, particularly that which is human. It is sin and death that really messes things up - nothing else, in and of itself. All in all, a very meaningful and inspiring movie.

May we learn to conquer our fears, whatever they may be, and learn to 'seize the day', God's way.