This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
spiacente’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Makes me wish I were studying in a school with a campus as pretty and as in nature as the one featured in the movie. Also would love if my campus looked different every season. But, about the movie itself, I liked it, and how it got to your emotions while telling a true and important story. Growing up in an Asian society, the oppression is so real, and the expectation to conform and be filial to your parents are very real as well. They may not come in as overt ways anymore, unlike in the past, but they're still there, and honestly, it's even more sinister when it is not as overt, because you can continue to frame yourself as the good guy, as the parents do in this movie, while completely ruining someone else's life. I like that the storyline is realistic, that Mr Keating doesn't just ask them to do whatever they like and follow their dreams, but also grounds them to reality when needed. The movie also doesn't just un-fire Mr Keating because the students support him, and that is both a realistic and rather sad but accurate reflection of society. Though I also feel that the last scene of the students standing up on the tables for him may mean more than him getting his job back, because it shows that sometimes, in life, the concrete, tangible things don't matter as much as the relationships you create and the soft power and influence you have over someone. Sometimes, going against the institution is indeed pointless and impossible, but you can still make a difference in one person's life. And as for those who read this movie as a representation of coming out, I totally get it. Honestly, this movie could be a representation of so many situations we see around us in society today. Oppression of women, people of color, etc. It's also nice to see students in school be nice to one another for a change, and 'nerds' being represented holistically, with each student having their own distinct personality and ticks. One thing that baffles me, though, is how Mr Keating turned out that way if his school is so stifling. And sometimes the music (the bagpipes) can be a bit strange.