I’m not extremely well-read when it comes to movies. I haven’t seen most films that would be classed as classics. I think most people would say I have poor choice in movies. So tonight, I thought I’d watch a film which filmsite.org calls “one of the key, ground-breaking films of the late 1960s”. It’s been well referenced over the years, as recently as the film ‘500 Days of Summer’. And everyone, even if they haven’t seen it knows the line “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.”. You should have guessed by now, ‘The Graduate’ starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft.
I curled up on the couch, vodka and lemonade in hand, and pressed play on Netflix.
Now, I know it’s an oldie, but I’m not going to go into too much detail about the plot. I think this is a film that a lot of people still haven’t seen, but they definitely should. .
The film centres around Ben Braddock, played by Hoffman. A recent graduate (obvs) who is unsure on what direction his life is going to take. I’ll admit, I didn’t really care for Hoffman before I saw this film.I had only seen him in his more comedic roles like ‘Meet The Fockers’. I fell in love with him in this role though, playing a naive, polite young man. The film has a lot of humour in it, which comes from his characters quirky mannerisms and dry way of speaking.
There is a scene where he is lying on a lilo in his parents pool, his father asks him what he’s doing – It’s obvious he means about in life..
I’m guessing there’s some kind of symbolism in there somewhere, but I just loved the dry humour in it.
I enjoyed the first half of the film, as his affair with the infamous Mrs. Robinson grows and Ben evolves as a character, he seems to stay naive but matures as well. He knows what he’s doing is wrong, and seems deeply affected by it, but he can’t seem to stop (I have no idea what I’m going on about but this is the impression I got).
Now, I know foreshadowing when I see it, and when Mrs. Robinson gets poor little Ben to promise that he definitely will not take her daughter, Elaine, out on a date; we know that is exactly what he IS going to do. And he does. And lo and behold, he falls for her. Why wouldn’t he? He likes her so much that he takes her to a striptease show, and a stripper spins her booby tassels on poor Elaines head (one of the best, and also saddest, scenes I’ve ever seen).
That’s as far as I’m going to go with the spoilers. I pretty much guessed the film up to that point by myself so it’s not much of a spoiler really.
I’d say the third quarter of the film was a bit.. meh. I know it’s a film, and I hate people who do this.. But I found myself thinking ‘THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN’.
I think there was a lack of chemistry between Ben and Elaine, and it spoilt the plot in these parts for me. Others may disagree. There was still the witty, dry humour to get me through this patch though.
The last 15 minutes however, I literally sat forward on the edge of my seat to watch. My mouth wide open. It wasn’t like there was any action scenes or hardcore sex or anything like that. The acting was spot on, there was a sense of real urgency and drama to it, but I was laughing. The music in the background, the way the scenes were shot and the dialogue. It all came together in the last 15 minutes. And the ending, beautiful. I love 3/4 of the film, and was indifferent about 1/4. I’d say that was pretty good.
I give it 4 and a half stars! And I’m not going to explain how I arrived at that point!
I’ve had a few drinks. And I haven’t read this back to myself, yet. So, I know it’s going to be the WORST movie review you will have ever read.
I think I’m going to watch some more classics 🙂