"Mrs. Robinson you're trying to seduce me, aren't you?"
'The Graduate'. This is the film that made it all happen for newly seen actor back in the day, Dustin Hoffman. He was a shooting star when this film came out. But let's not get carried away shall we? Let's talk fimmaking first.
'The Graduate' is on of those films that made history. Not so much about the story but about the revolution that its themes started. The film centres around a recently college graduate Benjamin Braddock, who is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine.(www.imdb.com)
This is perhaps the film that started the whole the cougar-is-the-best-around theme that has been going on, especially during the last few years in pop culture. The slinky plot-line, the witty dialogue, the brooding/atmospheric music ('Sound of Silence')of one of the most well-known Brit duos back then 'Simon & Garfunkel' and the eerie direction are a few of the ingredients that make this seemingly shallow film work into a classic.
The delight comes from within; acting being a craft in the hands of the two main protagonists, Anne Bancroft and the new-kid-in-the-block-then Dustin Hoffman. They might have seem an odd pair to match but their precise movements and mannerisms in the filmic made both of them sultry and easy to watch. Their affair might not be presented in all the conventional terms, but this is exactly why it still manages to hold the audience's attention so many years later.
In my opinion, what really did fascinated me from the very first time I sat down to watch this film was the brooding melancholia it was transmitting towards me. All those idle moments of Hoffman's character, the need to find something pure and honest, the need to escape the conventions of the elite status of his parents were examples of the modern-man wanting to break free, to escape from the chains of the suburban way of living. Just like so many young people in the late 1960s wanted to break free and see the world with open eyes, so did this film wanted to transmit; the courage to go beyond social convention and give a taste of the "new", the forbidden, the "future".
Stylistically this film has a lot to offer in terms of originality and scripting. At moments it can be both hilarious and at moments desperately dramatic. It swindles you both ways but in all sense at the end makes you understand that love is all you need to prevail. Mike Nichols, the director knew well how to set-about with the themes he wanted to leave his audience with, since he cleverly took us from a very long-lost-suburban-graduate to a rebellious-young-man-who-can-do-most-anything, thus giving the audience back then to believe in the future, in their power to choose and try things.
Understandably this film is considered a classic and still manages to warm up the audience's heart. Witty, smart & sexy, this film has a lot to offer than just a naughty cougar; brains to match it as well.
Hope you enjoy the film!
The Graduate (1967)