The History Boys Reviews
This movie is funny and i did love the cast and their acting that was brilliant and i really love the ending it really got i really think that was a fantastic ending but i guess this movie isnt my cup of tea!
Its about a group of really smart lads trying to get into cambridge and oxford university and its sort of a coming of age learning thing sort of movie and its also got a teacher that torches the boys (which is the main poiint i dont understand as to why they would let hin do it) and a new teacher that tries to help them pass!
a watchable movie as it is funny and a fantastic cast!
More than any similarly-minded films, The History Boys is about the students and not the teacher(s). In fact, making sure that there were four very different authority figures went a very long way to providing countless curious situations that, though not properly "exciting", were certainly exciting for the attempted anticipation of the results. It was kind of like a geneticist's punnett square: if this mixes with this, then we'll have this outcome... and if this meets that, then we'll have that outcome...
This was a very cerebral movie as well: accessible for its compassionate portrayal of eight young men and their intellectual (and sexual) awakenings, not to mention teachers equally on the upswing (Irwin) and downswing (Hector) of their careers, the film also says a great deal about history that I'm sure only my history-major friends could appreciate as schools of thought and epistemological theory related to "how to study" history. (Luckily, my background in literature studies helped me to at least understand Hector and his outmoded style of studying and teaching poetry.)
The historian Hayden White, for example, talks of the "emplotment" necessary when writing history. To recount a factual history, one must turn it into a narrative: Neville Chamberlain spoke for the appeasement of Adolf Hitler, which led to his consolidation of power, which led to the Second World War (etc.) - all narratives must have a sequence of events that makes sense, otherwise it's hard to accept the story. One paints some events as turning points, but they may be completely insignificant; as one of the boys in the film points out, Halifax was much more likely to become Prime Minister than Winston Churchill, but went to the dentist on the wrong day. If Halifax had had better teeth, would the war (and everything since) have turned out the same way? Who knows?
The discussion of history as "turning points", and it's contrasting characterization (from the supposedly dull boy, Rudge) as "just one thing after another" is a discussion that can be applied to the plot itself, which is the true brilliance of this film... looking back on the many contrasting moments, one has to ask oneself how the narrative worked: why the story was told the way that it was, and which moments (if any) are turning points? Is there a cause and effect relationship, or is this just one event stacked on top of another?
The film's ability to keep you hanging on insignificant plot points is a triumph, because you too must wait and see if, in the end, this moment will be a turning point. You'll reach the end, and you'll make a mental list, but you'll want to check it again by watching the moments unfold to see if they cause the ensuing events or merely precede them.
An excellent movie to purchase and watch over and over again, whether you've heard of Richard Rorty or not, the film carries a lot of its devices honed in the theatre (it's an adaptation of a play) onto the big screen, and is one that leaves many impressions on many levels... any of which, of course, may or may prove to be significant when one looks back on it the future.
[font=Century Gothic]With "The History Boys," Alan Bennett adapts his own play for the big screen. While he does manage to open it up, the movie is populated with broadly drawn characters, particularly the headmaster. And the character of Hector is problematic at best and a plot device at worst. I know he is meant to be seen as sweet(he is misidentified as gay) but he seriously creeps me out.(If I feel that way, you could imagine how a parent might feel.)[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The movie does recall "Dead Poets Society" in its running educational debate of imparting knowledge versus admissions into a top university.(One drawback of getting into such a school is that it might lead to intellectual snobbery.) Since this is a universal and continuing conflict, it is unnecessary to date the movie to 1983, except that the music was cooler back then. And even with how important learning in a classroom is, an education does not stop at graduation but is an ongoing process.[/font]
Richard Griffiths did a very good job.
The end is quite good.