Movie review: The Graduate

Thought I’d write a short movie review on The Graduate, acted by the young Dustin Hoffman.

The movie was made in 1967 and at the time, Dustin Hoffman was 30 years old but he acted like he’s 21 years old in the movie. For some reason, it also reminds me of another movie, Risky Business, with Tom Cruise, basically thinking abt what you wanna do after you’re done with college and a degree in your hand. While watching this movie, I had to remind myself that this was made in 1967, so the society was quite different back then, and clearly, everyone’s enjoying a rich, materialistic life in Los Angeles and the population was booming. Benjamin Braddock, main character, had his little red roadster revving around.

I’m thinking how I’d like to define this movie and one thing that strikes me is twenty-something syndrome. It’s that gap when you finish college and you need to decide what you want to do, often a situation enlarged if you’re trying to find a job. Benjamin was having that kind of syndrome as he ponders himself to his own thoughts, and his parents are zealous of his past accomplishments and prompting him to go to a graduate school. I’d say that the whole strength of this movie comes from Dustin Hoffman with his acting and have us bought in the story of the movie, though it gets pretty wacky.

The whole movie starts to kick off as one wife of a wealthy family named Mrs. Robinson (beautifully acted by Anne Bancroft) seduces Benjamin, which we learn that he’s a virgin, and well, he spends that entire summer doing pretty much one thing, other than driving his roadster and making himself well-known at the hotel.

As things start to get old, Benjamin realizes he cannot just keep doing this forever till he is persuaded by his parents to take out the daughter of the same family. Not really interested to do that but he was told by Mrs. Robinson that he cannot take her own daughter out (that, I’m not sure why but she probably knew he’d be enamored with her daughter if they went out.) Rather than discouraged, the competitive spirit kicks in Ben’s and he takes her daughter out. Ofc, he falls in love with her but things gets quite ugly when the daughter learns that he’s slept with her mother, now the holder of this slang, cougar. Things fall apart and the daughter resorts to study at University of Berkeley away from Los Angeles.

Back in that twenty-something syndrome mode, Ben thinks about what he wants to do, then he realizes he wanted to marry her and will do whatever it takes including driving back and forth between Los Angeles and Berkeley. In the end, his red roadster finally breaks down, and Ben is willing to use his sprints and energy to prevent the daughter from marrying another guy.

That twenty-something syndrome thing he was having in the beginning? Nah, that’s gone and happily married to a beautiful dirty blonde wholesome girl from Los Angeles, and an experienced one.

-nathan

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