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Film Analysis on the Gradyate

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Submitted By cabbage
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The Graduate Scene Analysis/Review

Like literature, film is full of areas which can have deeper meaning than the actions occurring at the moment in the story. The magic of film however is that these actions can be visibly seen and can do this not only with the script but with camera angles, music, sounds, lighting and many other factors that would have to be imagined in a novel. One film that clearly uses this to its advantage is Mike Nichols “The Graduate” which is centered on Benjamin, a young man who finds himself in a love-based dilemma with a woman and her daughter. The film nearly abuses these techniques to create a masterpiece with both a meaningful and enthralling story. One scene that stands out from the rest in the movie is in a montage where Benjamin finds himself drifting in water and making the beast with two backs with the older woman. However, this montage comes to an abrupt stop when Benjamin hears his father’s voice calling to him in a rather upset tone. There is then a cut to a close up on the fathers face, blocking out the sun and giving him a darker more authoritative appearance. This creates the illusion that Benjamin’s father represents the strictness of reality compared to Benjamin’s drifting. And as the upset father talks to Benjamin about the life that he is wasting it becomes apparent that Benjamin’s laid back appearance lacks control when compared to that his father. Another noteworthy scene is after Benjamin buys gifts for Elaine, whose family holds a grudge against Benjamin for his sexual actions towers Elaine and her mother. When Benjamin runs up the stairs to propose to Elaine there is a happy, uplifting soundtrack in the background, but when he enters the room he finds darkness and everything goes silent for a moment. It is then when Benjamin comes across Elaine’s upset father and the tone of the scene changes from happy to suspenseful. The change of audio really shows how Benjamin feels at the moment; going from happy and optimistic to scared and awkward.
These shots and scenes are important to film and can make all the difference to the meaning of a scene when used properly. However, there are a few distinguishing moments that are set apart from all of the others and these are the ones that really set an impression. The Graduate is just one in a plethora of many films that have made great impacts across the past century.

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