Good Will Hunting
What could be more frustrating than watching someone you thought was inferior, doing without much effort what you’ve been working hard on all your life? A college professor who has spent all his life solving mathematical problems gets stuck at a certain question. To add fuel to fire, a college janitor who’s a high school dropout, solves the same problem with ease.
What’s more frustrating is finding the diamond in the rough and making him realize, he’s no ordinary person but a true genius. How do you help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, who doesn’t recognize his true potential? Good Will Hunting is the story of that diamond in the rough – a tough, headstrong kid from Boston who’s a cynical genius.
Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a janitor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who lives on the Irish side of Boston. Will likes hanging out with Chukie (Ben Affleck) and other friends and considers his blue collar job enough for this lifetime. This is just what he gives away, but there’s so much more to this petty janitor who is toughened by his strict and cruel upbringing. Nobody knows the janitor is Mathematics’ genius and has memorized thousands of books from the library in his photographic memory. His genius comes to the fore when Professor Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), a Maths professor at MIT, catches Will solving one of his problems on the blackboard.
Stunned by the janitor’s intelligence, Lambeau wants to help Will and change the whole world of Mathematics, but little did he know, Will was one tough nut. Before Lambeau could approach Will, he ends up in jail on charges of assault. Being a professor in MIT, Lambeau gets Will out on probation. Determined on improving this impossibly smart kid’s life, he takes him to different psychiatrists for counselling. But “Tough Will Hunting” just refuses to be counselled. When no psychiatrist could crack Will, Lambeau approaches his old college roommate Sean McGuire (Robin Williams) who is an excellent counsellor with his own twisted and messed up life. Sean on hearing what a genius Will is accepts his old roommate’s request.
Like the counsellors that came before Sean, Will just refuses to open up and plays cocky with Sean, so that he would give up too. But Sean, having spent a tough life himself, just wouldn’t give up on Will. He understands why Will has build up these high walls around him. After some tough sessions between the two, Will gradually opens up to Sean and they form a wonderful relationship.
It’s not just Sean and Lambeau who want to help Will. His friend Chukie also urges Will not to waste this opportunity to make something better of his life. He also meets a Harvard pre-med student Skyler (Minnie Driver) with whom he falls in love with. She also helps in making him realize that it is safe to put down his guards for some time and that he will not betray his friends by leaving his job to become a great mathematician.
Directed by Gus Van Sant, the movie is full of beautiful dialogues and the story has so many different sides. For instance, you may be thinking that it is Sean who is healing Will, when actually both of them are helping each other. By meeting Will, Sean sees a troubled young boy much like what he used to be. And so, two troubled geniuses form a beautiful relationship that makes both better human beings.
Matt Damon totally deserved the Oscar he won for the film for his acting giving him an excellent start in Hollywood. The way he shifted from being an arrogant punk to a soft and scared kid and when he pretends to be angry at Skyler and breaks up with her, all the time making it evident he did it only because he felt he didn’t deserve her, are worthy of all the appreciation.
Nobody could do Sean McGuire better than Robin Williams. The patience he shows toward Will, his gentlemanly behavior and the fatherly love he develops for Will, Williams nailed everything.
Written by Matt Damon himself and Ben Affleck, Good Will Hunting is an excellent movie that will break your heart and then mend it sweetly.
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