Books and Movies Reviews

Dead Poets Society – Neils Death Scene

The scene that is being analysed in Dead Poet's Society is one of the last in the film where Neil decides to kill himself. The characters focused on in this scene are Mr and Mrs Perry and Neil.
The scene starts off with a photo portrait of the Perry's which symbolises that they always looked happy and that a conflict of any sort could not occur. Alongside the photo on the small desk are cigarettes and alcohol in which shows Mrs. Perry's tension, stress and anxiety. The camera then heads up from the table to the window where we can see Mr. Perry and Neil walking to the front door. At this point there is no music.
The next shot shows a mid-shot of Mr. Perry and Neil walking into the room and Neil sitting down on the chair with a punch of thorns he wore in his play in his hands. There is silence except for the slow moving footsteps. A wide angle shot is then used to show all three of the Perry's in the room. Dialogue finally commences when Mr. Perry tells Neil of his disappointment and decides to enrol him in harbour to become a doctor. During this dialogue, a sequence of close-ups are used on each of the Perry's faces to portray Mr. Perry's anger and frustration, Mrs. Perry's confusion and Neil's shock of his fathers decision.
The dispute ends with all three standing up and the Mr. Perry walking out of the room and the camera panning back down to a close-up of Neil with his mum in the background. In complete shock, he says "I was good…I was really good". Then smiles as his mum walks out the room.
The scene is switched to Neil's parent's room with his father taking off his jacket and his slippers and hopping into to bed. The slippers symbolise neatness and order in the house. The camera zooms in on the slippers while Mr. Perry turns off the light. With this we can hear Mrs. Perry crying in the comfort of her husband.

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