“The Graduate” Review ✦✦✦✦✦

1 July, 2017

Year of Release: 1967
Mike Nichols
Calder Willingham, Buck Henry
Director of Photography: 
Robert Surtees
Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross

Synopsis: A college graduate returning home without a clear future ahead of him finds himself tangled in a destructive affair with an older woman whose beautiful daughter is off-limits yet becomes the target of the young man’s misguided affections.

The Graduate Review:

A coming-of-age masterwork written to the ethereal jingle of Simon & Garfunkel, “The Graduate” is a trailblazer for the atypical love story, employing an incestual and hopelessly dysfunctional narrative while tickling viewers with picture-perfect sight gags and straight-faced comedy. Clumsily unromantic yet oddly relatable, “The Graduate” sees life as an unmappable set of events where future actions are rendered meaningless while ‘The Sound of Silence’ comes to perfectly encapsulate one’s desire to crawl back into their shell and simply rewrite the entire backstory of their existence.

Half a century old yet still a cinematic essential for the lost and socially awkward, “The Graduate” is a film about finding a purpose where there isn’t one, compressing the aftershocks of peer pressure into a shambolic tale of cougar advancement and young love. While unavoidable meekness throws the young Benjamin into a cataclysmic love triangle, “The Graduate” rebukes the politeness and presumption of a socialite lifestyle, presenting radical alternatives for a confused and counterculturally-inspired generation whose parents traded freedom for marriage, money, and materialism.

Fashioning unique compositions still unmatched by today’s most outstanding examples of visual mastery, Mike Nichols’ magnum opus is spliced to perfection, creating Sirkian meaning out of fast edits and confined viewpoints while the juxtaposition between Benjamin’s hermit unease and Mrs Robinson’s domination of space is offset solely by the introduction of her virgin daughter. Younger, prettier, and more innocent, Elaine is a painful mirror into the past and the film aces the casting with Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross embodying two sides of the same coin while Dustin Hoffman’s iconic protagonist simply wishes he could blend into the wallpaper and never be bothered again.


Review Date
The Graduate