Simon & Garfunkel–April Come She Will

Sometimes an entire film is defined by the music of one artist.  The contributions Simon & Garfunkel made to The Graduate turned them into superstars.  The songs, which had predominantly already been released on other albums, fit the film so perfectly it’s impossible to imagine it without their inclusion.  And while The Sound of Silence and Mrs. Robinson are the tracks that largely live on in the public consciousness, April Come She Will may be the most meaningful addition to the movie.  On its own, the song is a warm folk classic, chronicling the ebb and flow of summer.  It’s wonderfully beautiful, but slight.  It’s transformed, though, when Mike Nichols pairs it with a subtly dream-like sequence that is the very definition of ennui.  Those two minutes, in which the whole song is allowed to play out uninterrupted, are a microcosm of the emotions of the film: aimless, unfulfilled, but never truly desperate.  Something about the song suddenly becomes sour, or maybe even spoiled.  Its almost empty sweetness mirrors Benjamin Braddock’s uselessness and discomfort, with the pretty polish on the outside masking a hollow core.  For a film that captured the feelings of a generation, and has continued to define the dissatisfied youth of subsequent generations, that is no small contribution by the song.

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