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The Graduate (1967) Blu-Ray
, 13 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Graduate (Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
It is, ultimately, the film that signaled a renaissance for a certainly debatable industry by the late 1960's. Such was the surprising subject matter of The Graduate at that point in time that it is no wonder the film is still considered a cult classic today, and has rightly been re-released on Blu-Ray with a restoration, accompanying many other classics that Studio Canal have carefully pumped out at very descent prices.
It is a film that can apply to (or at least touch on) much of the problems that occur as we come of age, hence it was released at a time when 'College-culture' was coming to fruition as we know it today. For our lead character Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman), the mind-set of being a graduate and not knowing what to do with ones life is a dilemma many of us face, or indeed have faced. As such, it doesn't help that at a family party, Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft), a friend of Ben's parents decides to take the situation at liberty and immediately offers Ben an ultimatum that, no matter which way he looks, will always resort to a crazy cougar relationship. The build up to the events that follow, as the two go on secret dates and awkwardly have sex in a hotel is both incredibly entertaining as it is touching, which is equally why the film should be appreciated.
Things go from awkward to worse though for Benjamin as he soon realises that the more sensible path would be to date Mrs Robinson's daughter whom his parents very much approve of. Tensions fly, and it soon becomes a battle of wills as Ben attempts cope with the world being on his shoulders. For all the 'education' that he may have gained from Mrs Robinson, he is ultimately compromised by this woman who will go out of her way to ensure Ben never even looks at her daughter, such is her envy of the girls looks and generally off-beat mind-set, though one of the clever ironies of the film which is often overlooked is that, while Mrs Robinson has diverted this sensible young man who did well at College, she herself was once an Art student who went off the rails thanks to a partner of the time. As much as they are both opposites, they are also quite alike.
The film here is presented in its original aspect ratio and has undergone a generally good restoration. The problem when a film does have such a wide aspect ratio is that, as the point of view is often more distant so that more information can be put into the wider frame, I don't feel High Definition transfers look "as" good. This is not to say the film is not worth buying, because as with any other restoration/HD transfer, it still reveals levels of detail and perspective that you won't have seen before on DVD, so at this price there is no reason not to purchase this product. The restoration isn't a Lowry Digital job (the Gold standard), but it still retains the natural film grain and has removed any large defects/dirt in the print. Film judder however still remains.
Along with a nice splattering of extras and some really lovely packaging, The Graduate is a modern classic that will touch the hearts of many and entertain others. I myself was once in a cougar relationship and, after being frustrated with how such a situation can affect your daily life, I was recommended this film. It not only made me feel better in myself, but I could totally sympathize with Ben and I applaud the acting all round for what turns from a thoughtful beginning to a tense finale.
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