Thesis: Graduate ): Film Review

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Graduate (1967): Film review

Although the Graduate is a comedy with a farcical plot (a recent college graduate has an affair with his desired girlfriend's mother), it is characterized by subtle, understated acting that intensifies the humor of the film. For example, when Dustin Hoffman's college graduate Benjamin is told at a cocktail party that the future of America is in "plastics," the line is left to speak "for itself," and the humor of the scene derives from his discomfort and uncertainty about what to say, not just the irony about how the word reflects the plastic nature of suburbia. Carefully timed reaction shots paired with ironic dialogue are what give the film is satiric humor: the viewer must carefully watch and listen to appreciate the film. For example, Anne Bancroft's Mrs. Robinson's careless sexuality when she removes her stockings to seduce Benjamin is funny because of his adolescent discomfort and because of her denial that is what she is obviously doing.

Although the acting is contemporary in its style, other aspects of the film clearly mark it as part of the 1960s, such as the ending sequence, which shows Benjamin whisking Elaine away at the altar from a stultifying life. The couple defies parental and social conventions without any thought of the future. The film clearly pairs… [END OF PREVIEW]

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