Free scene analysis the graduate movie review sample

Introduce segment & importance of segment to the film as a whole

This scene features Ben running away from the relatives gushing over him at his graduation party and the older Mrs. Robinson seducing him as he drives her home. Provide persuasive reason for why you chose this segment. This segment introduces the idea that Ben feels stifled by the expectations of his elders, and provides a youthful escape into the sexual temptations of an older woman. Detailed analysis and deconstruction of: Narrative structure (classical, formalist, realism, adaptation) – How do you know? The narrative structure is very formalist, given director Mike Nichols’ penchant for stylized cinematography and editing to convey larger thematic ideas (like isolation, confusion, arousal) Cinematography: mise en scene,
– The fish tank in Ben’s room symbolizes his feeling of isolation and entrapment in this unwanted life.
– Ben and Robinson framed through the fish tank
– Ben framed through Robinson’s curved leg at “ You’re trying to seduce me” line
– Many shots frequently from behind Ben, looking at Robinson
dominant image,
– The fish tank in Ben’s room is a potent image as Nichols films through it to show Ben and Robinson stuck in their limited social roles
shot choices,
– Many mid-shots and wide shots, showing Ben and Mrs. Robinson dwarfed by their surroundings, distance from the audience
point-of-view choices,
– Shots frequently at Ben’s point of view (looking out the window at party, looking behind his shoulder at Robinson)
– Many shots are distanced, God’s eye view of action from far away (like the shot of the two at Robinson’s doorway, all the way from the driver’s seat of the car)
shot length and movement,
– Shot lengths are relatively long
– Shot movement is limited to some pans and tracking shots as camera follows Ben and Robinson around the house
levels of intimacy,
– Ben is always filmed at a distance from Mrs. Robinson, as he tries to avoid her advances
– Scene ends with the two characters close together in the same shot as Ben apologizes for being so presumptuous
– Low lighting at Robinson’s house, meant to convey an erotic or contemplative mood
– Ben often in shadow to keep focus on Robinson
mood WHY?
– Playful, erotic mood to scene as Ben fumbles his way through Robinson’s advances

Theme: style choices, visual symbolism and motif – Effect on film?

– Visual symbolism of fish tank, bar in Robinson’s house symbolizes the two lives he gets to choose between
– Ben framed in Robinson’s leg shows his lack of agency and confidence as Robinson is more sexually powerful

Editing: Pacing, style, use of flashbacks

– Slow, methodical pace as Mrs. Robinson slowly seduces Ben
– Shot length gets longer as Ben grows more anxious, calls out Robinson on seducing him
Sound choices: use of foley, dialogue, music diagetic vs. non diagetic. Effect to mood.
– All the music is diegetic; no music until Robinson turns on an album in her house.
– This places control of the film’s world more in the hands of Robinson, who attempts to alter the mood to make Ben want to sleep with her