Where art thou captain?

You know how crying without making any sound feels like? Well, If you know then you’d understand how heartbreaking it is. Nothing’s so soul crushing. You wouldn’t believe if I told you that I was crying while writing this. I just came back from my parents’ room with eyes as glossy as an arctic lake. I came back running to my room. As soon as Neil gets undressed and wears his crown, I switched off the television and rushed back. I mean, I started sobbing ten minutes before Neil could shoot himself in his father’s study. The entire movie gets painfully emotional and rather slow from that point on. I didn’t want to see him kill himself or watch Mr. Keating cry or witness Todd run into the snow because he just couldn’t bear knowing that his best friend had died. It would’ve made me sick. This movie will always be close to my heart, more than any other film. It’s amazing how it was made 28 years back but it still hasn’t lost it’s shine. It’s would be the best coming of age movie of all time if Linklater wouldn’t have thought about Boyhood. Let me make myself clear on why I love Dead Poets Society so much. Every teenager should watch how Mr. Keating teaches a classroom full of boys to make them have a different, more ambitious outlook. The very first words he spoke were Carpe diem which is a latin phrase famously known as seize the day. Which teacher would dazzle the impressionable teens on his first day? All I got was a robotic, deadbeat math teacher who kept providing us with ‘guidelines’ on how to behave in his class. I would only remember three high school teachers who effected my life in great yet varying degrees. I wish the number was higher. If every student had one Mr. Keating during their time, they’d create wonders. The movie was set in a more disciplined and respected preparatory school whose students made their names in law, medicine the other ‘sought’ after pursuits. For the heavily trained students, a teacher who stood apart from the others felt exciting to them. He simply swum against the stream. He enamored the boys with his love for poetry and life. The principal of the school didn’t approve of his ‘unorthodox’ and ‘not related to the course’ methods. He did everything differently; it was all about sucking the marrow out of life without choking on it. 

Parents somewhat expect a lot from us. I mean why wouldn’t they? All they want to do is make their child’s future into a bright one. Ever since Mr. Keating came, the boys felt a lot freer. They weren’t forced to do a thing. Along the lines, they discovered themselves. Neil Perry found out that he was good at acting. Although his father wanted him to study hard and get him to be a doctor, he acted anyway. He was breathtaking in the play. God knows he could’ve done better in the future. 

I could only relate. Just like Neil, I can’t just up and confess to my parents about my dreams and ambitions. For a fact, they wouldn’t understand it. And secondly, all they want me to do is earn money and live a pretty normal life. I wouldn’t shoot myself, of course. That’d be plain dumb of me. 

Now, a question swivels in my head. Was Mr. Keating wrong? He planted many ideas in his pupils’ heads and somehow in the end, they were ruined. Almost broken. I think studying is as important as the work you put into your passion. Things turn to shit when you can’t manage the time to do what you love the most. It’s only fitting that good things might end in bad terms. Pre climax, the film got as depressing as it could be. But Todd showed some raw bit of confidence as he stood on his desk and bid farewell to Mr. Keating. And so did the others. Mr. Keating, finally got the applause and respect he blissfully deserved. I still remember his face glowing in pride. He put a warm smile on his face as he said, “Thank you boys.”

On a more personal note, I just want to say that wherever you (Robin Williams) are stay amazing. It’s kinda weird. You don’t even know me. All I do is worship you, all of you. You made the world empathise with you. I laughed and cried for you and I know nothing’s gone to waste. This is an ode to you. 

Rest in peace, captain!


Relating to Paterson

The Japanese stranger stands up to leave. For a moment, he thinks to himself and eventually reaches into his slinging bag to take out a notebook. He hands it to Paterson calling it a gift. He says, “Sometimes empty pages present more than possibilities” and walks away. God knows where he went. Even though Paterson was feeling distraught ever since his dog chewed up his ‘secret’ notebook where he wrote all of his poems, he felt somewhat dazed after the Japanese stranger left. I guess life teaches us things we were supposed to, not because we want to. Destiny has it’s own supernatural path barely known to nimble human minds. I was feeling a little out of place ever since I got home, my favorite team lost and I couldn’t write at all. I posted a status on facebook saying I was dealing with a sizable writer’s block (which I am) and was bored to the point where I could go insane. But then I watched the beautiful movie ‘Paterson’, I picked up where I had left last night. I like think the words that came out of the Japanese stranger’s mouth meant something. I mean, artists cannot always keep creating. They need space, time and bits of inspiration every now and then. Paterson dealt with his shredded notebook in a very mature way which was impossible in my case. I would’ve cried my heart out. He was shaken yet couldn’t show. After he was gifted the notebook and those words, he was inspired enough to write something that naturally pleased him. Such is the highlight of my day. That Japanese stranger broke Paterson’s incubation period and so did mine. Hell, I am writing now. What could be more delightful than writing something that feels good? I can never put something before my writing. It’s what I live for and what I want to do. It might be the only thing I’m good at. Maybe Paterson felt the same as I did when I was dealing with this block.

On a more spiritual level, Paterson is real. He’s a living, breathing, walking and kissing human being. He is not a rock star or a multi billionaire. He’s a plain, blue collar citizen who has an ambitious girlfriend and a hungry dog. Nobody shall put this movie on the fiction shelf. Movies like these don’t come out very often. There is nothing extravagant or eventful about Paterson. He just wants to wake up to listen to a dream his girlfriend saw, eat cereal, write some ordinary piece of poetry based on what he sees everyday and drive the bus. The words he jots on paper are not mesmerizing or memorable; it’s observation disguised in detail and simple musings. He’d eat lunch on a bench looking at a scenic waterfall. Some things about Paterson feel so enchanting even though it’s so simple. I mean, for most people the movie is boring or not entertaining enough. There is a reason they are not artistic enough. They have no idea how to praise good, natural cinema.

A good cinematographer must know how to present normal, routine elements of life in the most beautiful way possible.”  Well, that’s quotable. Paterson is haunting. It’s so simple. A shoutout to the makers of this brilliant film, for they have created a world unto itself. And half the credit goes to Adam Driver to have acted so naturally complemented by a equally strong cast.

It is one of those rare movies that cast a magic spell on the patient and humble lovers of cinema. It has appealed to me in a way I didn’t think it could.