The Graduate is a classic. It was nominated for 7 academy awards including the best actor in a leading role, best actress in a leading role and supporting role and the best picture of that year. And it won the academy award for best directing.
For me personally, Dustin Hoffman’s acting was the best aspect of this movie. I have seen a lot of his later movies such as Meet the Fockers and Wag the Dog but this was the only movie I have ever seen him playing a younger character. He was thirty years old when he played this 21-year-old character.
The first part of the plot of the movie can be put like this. It was one of the biggest fantasy every man had when they were teenagers. It was about a very rich kid name Ben Braddock getting a chance to have sex with his dad’s business partner’s hot wife Mrs. Robinson. He always had a crush on her when he was little so when she approached him and said that she was sexually available for him, he gets scared and nervous instead of being happy at first, because at the time he was a virgin.
This hot wife character was played by Anne Bancroft who got nominated for an academy award for this role. But Ben manage to finally have sex with her and after that they have sex a lot of time. This affair was solely based on sex. There was nothing else in between them.
After some time, Ben’s parents wants to set him up with Mr. and Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine. They insisted on it. Both Ben’s parents and Mr. Robinson wanted that to happen so bad except for Mrs. Robinson. She forbids Ben from seeing her daughter because they were having taboo sex at the time. But he went on that date with Elaine anyway because he gets an ultimatum from his parents. It’s either going on a date with Elaine or the whole Robinson family coming to dinner at Ben’s house. Ben thought the second option would be awkward so he decided to go on the date. He tried to make Elaine hate him on their date, so she wouldn’t go out with him again. But in that process, something unexpected happens to both of them.
Ben fell in love with Elaine. He couldn’t resist that feeling. And the feeling was mutual. Then they started to have a proper affair. When Mrs. Robinson found out about this, she snaps. She wanted to tell everything to Elaine. But Ben managed to tell Elaine about him and her mother before Mrs. Robinson could. Elaine gets disgusted by that and never wanted to see Ben again. Her parents got a divorce after this incident and Elaine and her father moves to Berkeley later. Then Ben tells his parents that he and Elaine are going to get married. That made them so happy. But then Ben said Elaine and her parents doesn’t know it yet. Then he goes to Berkeley by himself to find Elaine. He finally managed to find her but she wanted to avoid him at first.
Then he went with her to the zoo to meet Elaine’s boyfriend because he wanted to follow her wherever she went. Then at that night, Elaine came to Ben’s room and asked him why he was following her. He said that he was in love with her. Then by the reaction on Elaine’s face, the audience can see that she also was still in love with Ben. Then he starts to follow her everywhere she goes and asks to marry him all the time. She says maybe to that. Then one day, she said that she has to meet Carl who was her boyfriend at the time. Then when Ben asked her why, she said that she said to Carl that maybe she would marry him.
At first Ben gets confused but he knew that Elaine loves him more than Carl. But then Mr. Robinson approached Ben and said that he never thought that Ben could do this to him. He then forbids Ben to see Elaine again and said that she is going to marry Carl. Ben gets so scared and runs to see Elaine at that moment because he wanted to know if it was true. When Ben arrives, Elaine had already left but there was a note from her. In it, she said that this is the best decision for Ben and it would never work out between them.
He gets so upset and tries his best to find where she is going to marry in order to stop it. He finally finds where but when he goes to the church, he sees Elaine just married Carl. It was too late for Ben. But then he screamed her name from the balcony. Everyone looks at him and then Elaine started to scream his name. This was the indication that Elaine still wanted to be with Ben instead of Carl. Then both of them ran off from the church after fighting through everyone.
Then they get into a bus and goes to the back seat. Then when the “Sound of Silence” was playing, the movie ends. But that ending was the best. Both of them wanted what they craved at the end. But as they were sitting inside the bus, the audience sees that they were slowly realizing the gravity of their situation while the music plays through the scene. They left everything they had so they could be together. They were blinded by love but after they got each other, they finally realized that they have no one else and maybe they made a huge mistake.
The director managed to capture that realization they get in mere seconds for the audience. It was one of the best and most unexpected movie scenes I have ever witnessed and that ending was phenomenal. I mean it’s really rare to expect that kind of an astonishing moment for a romance movie or in any movie. But the director managed to capture that.
This movie also had comedy so the audience would never get bored watching it. And the story had lots of unexpected twists within it. If not for the sound quality of the movie, I personally would never think that this was a movie that was old more than half a century. So overall, I think The Graduate was a masterpiece. If you are a movie lover, you should watch it definitely. It won’t matter what age you are on, you should definitely watch it because The Graduate is something you should not miss.