The Graduate (1967) – 5/5

The Graduate (1967) – 5/5

One of the best. Such a great movie. I’ve seen this movie several times over the last 20+ years and always enjoy it and see new/different things.

Ref: Rumor Has It – fun movie

SPOILERS (but if you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you)

Great exchange in the beginning w/ his dad:
Benjamin: I’m just…
Mr. Braddock: Worried?
Benjamin: Well…
Mr. Braddock: About what?
Benjamin: I guess about my future.
Mr. Braddock: What about it?
Benjamin: I don’t know… I want it to be…
Mr. Braddock: To be what?
Benjamin: [looks at his father] … Different.

I’ve always loved and identified w/ this sentiment – when I was young and now.

However, I do see the film differently now.

Ben is a great picture of the alienated and isolated youth of the sixties (as seen in the scuba/pool scene). He turns to easy, cheap sex and as Solomon found out, it’s empty. Eventually, it’s not enough to have sex w/o a relationship and laze around all day.

He’s forced into taking out Elaine and BAM! a person. A real person w/ real feelings and emotion. It shocks Ben. He’s instantly in love. Here’s someone alive – unlike him, unlike his parents, unlike anyone he’s around.

Unfortunately, he’s having an affair w/ her mom who later tells Elaine that Ben raped her.

Ben’s drive during school seems to have been “do what’s expected” – head of track, debate, etc. scholarship to grad school. Now his drive is for Elaine and he pursues her relentlessly.

She’s forced to marry someone else, but turns back to Ben – both of them rebelling against their parents and all that they are.

They run away from everything not knowing where they’re going.

The thing that struck me this time was the look on their faces at the end when the bus is driving off. What were they thinking? They’re mostly straight faced, staring ahead blankly. Where they scared? At peace? Disappointed? Free?

I think I always felt before that they were at peace and content, but now I’m not sure???


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