You may think that you're close to your parents' friends, but after watching "The Graduate," you'll happily realize that you're not nearly as close as you could be. I've seen this movie numerous times and enjoy it more each time. Although released in 1967, the themes are timeless and references to the film's antagonist, Mrs. Robinson, are still frequently made. The fact that the film's characters have endured for three decades is a testament to its profundity.The movie traces the situation of Benjamin Braddock, a handsome yet insecure young man. After graduating from college, Ben suddenly finds that he has no idea what to do with his life. At a party in celebration of his graduation, Ben is bombarded with questions, congratulations and advice from his parents' friends, which augment his feelings of isolation.When one of his mother's friends, Mrs. Robinson, asks Benjamin to give her a ride home, he agrees quickly, anxious to escape the crowd. After resisting numerous advances, Benjamin eventually allows himself to be seduced by this middle-aged woman.The movie explores the reasons for their affair as well as the effect of the relationship on her family. Ben's motivation is obvious: he is looking for companionship and intimacy since he's not sure where his life is heading. As the movie continues, Ben also becomes involved with Mrs. Robinson's daughter, Elaine, which then illustrates the major theme of the movie - jealousy. This film does not portray jealousy in the typical way (between friends or lovers) but rather the jealousy of a daughter and her mother.Although these issues are serious, comical lines are so prevalent that the movie is known as a comedy. To weave serious themes and ideas among funny and witty scenes is a talent lacking in most writers. The fact that this film achieves just that makes it truly rare.The unique camera angles complement its unorthodox plot-line. If you are looking for a movie to laugh at and enjoy but that is also thought-provoking, "The Graduate" is what you're looking for. It will provide hours of post-viewing discussion for you and your friends..
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.