Review of The Graduate

Essay by tashyUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2004

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The Graduate is directed by Mike Nichols in 1967. The Graduate is one of the best looking films I've ever seen. It is also a film that won the Oscar for best director, was nominated for best picture, and made the top tem list of A.F.I.'s best American films ever made.

Regarding the film in late-60s political ideology, The Graduate is a decidedly liberal film. In its principle, conflictive characters are political opposition (both in age and sex). Seen in its time, a decade of political identification such as sexual and racial, The Graduate establishes clear pawns, and allows dualistic sympathy for either party in conflict. In the end, the liberal force succeeds, though there is the final implication that the success is met with apprehension and is not secure.

It is apparent Ben is retaliating against routine. His destiny to live as his parents and their friends is obvious.

Theirs is a future robbed of variety, choice, and digression. Ben's life adheres to this structure following his graduation and return home. There is an evocative montage, scored with Simon and Garfunkel's trademark folk, return to his pool, in a series of pans, Ben enter his pool to relax, exit slowly, update his affair with Mrs. Robinson, return to his pool, and so forth. He walks slowly and inattentively. The sequence is interrupted by a dialogue between the precarious couple, in which Ben suggests a conversation before their sex. The reluctant conversation results in insult for both parties, and the two resume their intercourse in mandatory disinterest.

It is suggested that Mrs. Robinson's seduction of Ben is a corruption, one signified by shadow and the color black. In their first meeting, the affair commences when Ben shuts a hotel room door, casting darkness over the entire room. There...