Max Fisher is a combination of every parent's dreams and nightmares. In fact, despite this characters obvious social gifts, we see his teen angst rage against convention. In one sense he comes off almost as we would imagine a Holden Caufield in Catcher In The Rye. Is that a "people shooting cap"? Max is more complicated than an angry teen, and has more adult skills than many adults (particularly those portrayed in the film). He is proof that charm can carry a person through life almost exclusively, becoming a necessity as you rely more and more upon it. This brings us to Herman Blume, his life-battered mentor who has an obvious kinship with Max by way of his dislike of social convention. Early on in Rushmore, we learn there is no place in his heart for elitist philosophy: he tells the less fortunate among the prep school boys he is addressing to take aim at the rich boys, to bring them down. Ironically enough, both fall for the same woman, Rosemary Cross, a product of the most elite American institution, Harvard. Max even claims this to be his back up for college, behind Oxford and the Sorbonne. There are obvious parallels in this film to The Graduate. It is puntuated by music perfectly, and not with tired pop tunes (as are most movies these days with music incorporated). Max at times almost seems as though he were Benjamin, stalking Elaine at Berkeley. Jason Schwartzman excels as Max, as does Murray as Blume. Director Anderson does not avoid awkward moments, rather tackling them as subject in new ways. Some of this is done through great camera work, and some is accomplished by silence. Simply, he has made a daring, original film by letting us read the characters for ourselves.
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