Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine.
For Alfie, the only real life is sex life; only then can he kid himself he is living. Sex is not used as the working-class boy's way to 'the top'. Executive status has no appeal for Alfie. Nor has class mobility. He is quite content to stay where he is, as long as the 'birds' are in 'beautiful condition', as he assures us they are in one of the candid, over-the-shoulder asides to the camera which the film carries over from "Tom Jones". The film shows how much of the 'swinging 60's' quality of London life was a male creation, and through the dominance of the fashion photographers, a male prerogative. Written by
Having seen most of Michael Caine's work before, it was a pleasant surprise to see one of his first films. You can tell that it is one of his early roles and was not made with a large budget, but, as a good film should portray, it is quite clearly the quality of the script and the acting that outshines the sets and other superfluous aspects.
Caine's character is inherently unlikeable, but, he exudes such a strong charisma that one warms to him gradually. The films choice of supporting actress is also well done as they are controlled by Caine's character, but not upstaged.
The ending, for me is the key point in liking Caine's character, as without spoiling the film, the final scene, set against the Thames at night, is an outstanding piece of writing and direction.
Alfie is an excellent introduction to Michael Caine's work and, for all its flaws, it remains an outstanding film.
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