The Graduate

Saw this film for the first time the other day. This is one of my favorite moments in it.
The camera pulls back, and Hoffman recedes into the haze of chlorine-filled water:
The tone of the film becomes more and more nightmarish toward the end. The psychology of the characters breaks down into more primal urges. It becomes clearer and clearer that the two younger characters are breaking free of the societal, familial bondage that they are in. The further they get from the center of their proscribed roles, the more intense the film becomes. In the final scene, it is not clear what they are breaking free TO so much as what they have broken free from. She looks at him in the back of the bus. He does not return her gaze. They both end up looking ahead in silence. Perhaps they are not even sure of their immediate destination. The bus will take them to where the route proscribes. It is a yellow school bus. Perhaps they are wealthy enough that they have never ridden in a school bus.

Anyway these images are not subtle – suggesting many things at once about the main character and his circumstances.


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