Film Structure In The Graduate, By Mike Nichols

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Mike Nichols 1967 film ‘The Graduate’ is a comedy that illustrates a three-act film structure in which both the characters and the events which occur are vital. The film depicts a recent college graduate (Dustin Hoffman), whose life very quickly becomes dominated by his relationship with Mrs. Robinson and her daughter Elaine. In Act one, the key players are introduced, Benjamin, his parents and their friends including, of course, Mrs. Robinson. It feels as though Benjamin is on a different planet to the others, and for that we are sympathetic towards him and want to see how things will play out.

As is typical of a three act structure, the film embodies major structural elements. while there are several possible options for these key elements
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RObinson surprises Benjamin in ELaine’s room, when she locks him in and is in the nude. The first key plot point is when Benjamin phones Mrs. RObinson and begins to pursue her initiating their affair, this is a significant plot point as, had he not called her the entire plot would have played out differently. The mid-point appears to be when Benjamin ends up taking out Elaine due to his parents and Mr. Robinson’s request despite Mrs. Robinson protesting. The Second Turning Point/ Major Culmination at the end of Act Two, is the scene where Mr. Robinson unexpectedly shows up at the apartment where Benjamin is staying to reveal that he knows about the affair. Then last, but of course not least, the resolution, beginning when Benjamin chases down Elaine’s wedding and ending when he she and him run away together for a future, at least in the short term, …show more content…
Robinson confronts Benjamin could be considered the second plot-point as it is something of a cliffhanger; the audience is presented with whether or not the protagonist will ‘win or lose’; will there be a happy ending for Benjamin, it is up him to resolve the situation thus, the story is driven into the third act. This scene is interesting in how it reflects the Inciting incident. The shot choices are quite similar; there are over the shoulder shots from Mr. Robinson’s back onto Benjamin; but rather than a close- up on Benjamin a mid-shot is used, implying he is a little more at the same level as Mr. Robinson; that is until the end when Mr. Robinson stands up . . . confrontation - eyes? and threats Benjamin, Benjamin takes it relatively well and approaches him; the scene then cuts to a wide shot as Mr. Robinson shouts “Stay away from me Ben”, his performance builds up from calm, to out of control, he continues to hurl abuse, as though he can never finish, but finally at Benjamin ending on “you are a

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