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The Graduate September 15, 2006

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews.
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Another of those over hyped award winning classics…this one is about a college graduate (Dustin Hoffman) who has no clue of what he wants to do but is constantly given gyan by everyone around him; ultimately he just ends up having an affair with an older lady (Anne Bancroft) after she makes relentless moves to seduce him. But Hoffman eventually falls in love with Bancroft’s daughter (Catherine Ross). The mother doesn’t want this to happen and the affair comes out in the open…..the rest of the story is about how he finally unites with a heartbroken Ross. I wouldn’t say that this movie is bad but there is nothing great about it either. This was Hoffman’s first Hollywood movie and he was good. Rotten Tomatoes says this about the movie as a “satirical coming-of-age comedy that became an emotional touchstone for an entire generation”….well maybe, but definitely not for me. You can still watch this because it doesn’t bore you.

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1. Sai - July 6, 2007

I’ll have to disagree on this one. Intelligently plotted, wittily written (adapted by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry from a novel by Charles Webb), expertly performed and tastefully directed, this is an engaging film. This is one of those films where I can’t figure out what makes it extra special but it is and I greatly enjoyed it. Despite the moral ambiguities, I couldn’t help liking these characters. Despite what might be considered slow pacing in today’s times, the film somehow managed to hold my attention throughout.

The three main performers do an outstanding job of bringing their characters to life. I felt like a voyeur observing the lives of these people. I could feel the seduction of Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) just like Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman). I wanted to fall in love with Elaine Robinson (Catherine Ross) too. I could almost connect with the confusion in Benjamin’s mind. Director Mike Nichols (Closer, The Birdcage) keeps the mood consistent and does an admirable job of bringing out all these feelings with the help of the cinematographer, Robert Surtees and the editor, Sam O’Steen (there are some superb shots, cuts and transitions in this film). Nichols won the Oscar for Best Director that year and deservedly so. The background score/soundtrack suits the film and I loved the “Are You Going To Scarborough Fair” song (Simon and Garfunkel) that plays repeatedly.

As far as I’m concerned I don’t think the movie passes on any message of substance but for the length of the film I was transported into the world of these characters and that was more than enough for me. The film is considered a comedy (most people I know would call this a drama) for the dark humor and the satirical tone but don’t expect laugh-out-loud moments for there are none. As you said, this isn’t the kind of movie that would appeal to the audience of today but it might push the right buttons for a small proportion.


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