Carpe diem – seize the day – is one of the first things we remember about Robin Williams. It’s a message found in one of his most popular films, Dead Poets Society. In our era of distractions, where we are wasting time by scrolling on our phones almost every second of our lives, grasping the meaning of these words right now is more important than ever. Before we become more isolated from our loved ones, it is high time we remember some of the important lessons the brilliant actor taught us during his career in Hollywood.
Even though it’s been over 20 years since Dead Poets Society was released, the movie remains Robin Williams’ most memorable performance. He plays the role of carefree Mr John Keating, an English teacher in the elite conservative boarding school Welton Academy, deeply in love with the soul of literature. What makes this movie so special, is that every time you feel life is taking away the best from you, you can always come back to the film and listen to what Keating has to tell to you. The time has come to seize the day.
To say that Robin Williams infectiously changed our lives would not be completely incorrect. He was the teacher we all wanted, but sadly hardly did we have any mentor like Sean Macguire (Good Will Hunting) who could finely bring out the genius in us. (If you did have some teacher like him, I hope you are still in touch). Robin was a funny man, but not a silly over-the top clown. When you heard him crack a joke, you knew you wanted to imitate him in real life. He influenced us in various ways.
As an actor his film credits include unique and interesting roles. From the man-child in Jumanji to a scary killer in Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia, he carved out a special niche for himself in Hollywood. Stars may come and stars may go, but there will never be a second Robin Williams.
Happy Birthday Robin !