The Graduate Film Review
By: Ashley Shepherd
Mike Nichols directed the film The Graduate. It follows a recent college graduate bachelor who has made great accomplishments during his four years at school. Waiting at home for him are his parents and family friends who want to know his life plan for after college. The main character, Benjamin, is much more content being isolated from everyone and shows no interest in anything anyone is saying or even his life for that matter. The film goes on as he is asked to give Mrs. Robinson, a close family friend, a ride home in the middle of his welcome home party. Mrs. Robinson has grown a liking for Benjamin despite his young age and the destiny, according to his parents and Mr. Robinson, of being with daughter Elaine Robinson. Benjamin endeavors into shenanigans with Mrs. Robinson as well as goes on a date with Elaine Robinson. Benjamin is constantly faced with thoughts about morals, pleasing his parents, and following his heart. He is absolutely determined to get the one he loves to be with him forever, but he might have been too late and made too many mistakes.
This humorous and sex filled film will have you rooting for the lifelong happiness of Benjamin and his lover. Dustin Hoffman plays the part of Benjamin Braddock. He really sells the slum feeling and non-optimistic outlook about the future of a recent college graduate. Benjamin accomplished so much in college he seems like he needs to have a good time and experience some fun before fully setting into the real world or graduate school. The theme of being young only once continues throughout the film. Teenagers will laugh out loud at his strange encounters with women and relate to Hoffman’s character, although he might be a little awkward and cheesy but what teenager isn’t? Adults will also find humor in this film and will have them looking back on their past and laughing at the things they did or maybe wanted to do.
The other main character in this film is Mrs. Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft. Bancroft does a phenomenal job playing the part of the sexy, married, and middle-aged family friend. Her looks and voice fit the part of a seducing wife/mom perfectly. In addition, the actor who played Elaine Robinson, Katharine Ross, is just the right amount of innocent to make her desirable to Benjamin. Overall, the acting of this movie goes along with the sexual humor and lost college graduate theme.
One of the most memorable aspects from this film is how the camera constantly zooms in on Benjamin’s face. But the zoom is not always center. Sometimes it is on the top half of his face and sometimes it’s the bottom or awkwardly on one of the sides of his face.
This zooming technique happens throughout the film on just Benjamin’s face, never on any other characters’ face. It also makes the viewer feel like the movie is poorly made and might turn some viewers off.
The music in this film is catchy and will have you singing just one song for a few days after watching the film. The song played multiple times in the film, called “The Sound of Silence”, really follows the theme of the film and draws the viewer in even more. Lastly, the ending of the film is perfectly planned out to have you wondering if Benjamin will get to be with his lover or if he will never get to see her again. If you’re looking for a lot of laughs, awkward moments, and a rollercoaster of a sex/love story, this is the movie to see.