At the beginning of the film, as “on his deathbed,” Norman says parting words to his son Matt Warner, which at first remained incomprehensible: “I don’t want to see you die. You can die while still alive. ” As we can see, the dying father is seriously worried about the outwardly quite prosperous life of his son.
Matt in bewilderment repeats the words of his father to himself, unable to comprehend their secret meaning.
After the death of Dylan’s grandfather, a new history teacher comes to school, Mike Di Angello – Mr. Di. Matt Warner is seriously concerned about the success of Mr. Di. , he loses his peace and slumber.
At the end of the film, when Matt Warner overcame his excessive vanity and found harmony with himself, he understands the last words of his dying father that the worst thing is to die while still alive ..
Thank goodness Matt Warner is not dead. On the contrary, it was as if he was born again, gaining new horizons. And it is thanks to Mr. Di. that Dylan ceases to be ashamed of his father and, on the contrary, begins to be proud of him. Matt’s family life is also at its best – over the past three years, his family has replenished with two new children.
… Nevertheless the question arises: what would have happened if, as a result of his investigation, Matt Warner had not discovered two things: 1) Mr. Di had leukemia and 2) Mr. Di was once a favorite student of his father – the great teacher Norman Warner?
After all, it was these two things that reconciled Matt Warner with everything that happened, allowed him to rise above his feelings and learn his main lesson in life (the original title of the film is “School of Life” – “School of Life”).
So, I repeat: I am haunted by the question: how would events develop if Mr. Di. would remain alive and well for many years to come? What would happen then? Where would biology teacher Matt Warner take his all-consuming, destructive envy?
This remained incomprehensible to me. Moreover, in American films, the technique with a fatal illness of the hero is often used as a way out of the plot deadlock.
You shouldn’t expect any heights of acting from the performer of the role of Mr. Di , and here’s why. Unlike the multifaceted image of Matt Warner, always reflecting and doubting, the image of Mr. Di is embodied in the film not particularly fully and in relief. This is explained by the fact that, paradoxically, Mr. Di. is a somewhat schematic, secondary, auxiliary character. For, as Dylan quite rightly believes, it was his grandfather – the great teacher the Terrible Norman Warner – who sent Mr. Di to school in order to make his father – Matt Warner – the next great teacher. In support of this, recall the episode at the beginning of the film, when, after the funeral of his grandfather, Dylan encounters an unfamiliar man in the cemetery, who deliberately greets him meaningfully and puts flowers on his grandfather’s grave. And, of course, this man is none other than Mr. Di, who soon came to school as a teacher – that is, it turns out that grandfather died, and at this very moment Mr. Di appears in the life of the Warner family.
Throughout the film, we never see Mr. Di. alone with himself, we always see him only through the eyes of others – most often through the eyes of Dylan or Matt. This confirms the idea of the phantom nature of this character. Essentially, Mr. Di. is Norman Warner’s will. He unexpectedly appears in the lives of Dylan and Matt precisely at those moments when he wants to convey something important to them.