Posted in Classics

A Look Back at the Classics – Good Will Hunting

When life deals you a bad hand, what do you do? Do you play what you got, roll with the punches? Or do you just give up, dropping what you had to for fear of losing? This is a dilemma that plagues the protagonist of Good Will Hunting.

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has an amazing gift in solving mathematical equations and proofs that have stumped some of the greatest minds in the world of mathematics. Instead of applying his talents, he is simply a janitor at the prestigious M.I.T.; between waxing the floors and emptying the trash bins, Will goes around solving complex equations that professors leave on the blackboards meant to occupy students for the entire semester. Eventually one professor takes note of Will’s talent, but Will takes off before the professor can catch him.

Outside of mathematics Will is all around a genius and an independent thinker. Despite his mental prowess he had a good number of run-ins with the law, though in most cases he was able to talk his way out of time in jail. However, on his most recent incident he does not have such luck. With the threat of facing jail time, Will is conveniently bailed out by the mathematics professor, Prof. Gerald Lambeau, but only on a couple of conditions: he must study math and physics under the supervision of Prof. Lambeau, as well as visit a psychiatrist twice a week (obviously Will chooses the option that keeps him away from jail).

Even though Will agrees to go through psychotherapy, he feels that he doesn’t need it, therefore he refuses to take the session seriously. After seeing several therapists Lambeau has to resort to reaching out to therapist and his former roommate, Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). Once again Will refuses to mess around in the session, and the topic eventually comes around to Sean’s late wife. As Will continues to press the subject (and presses it just too far), Sean grabs Will by the neck and slams Will against the wall, telling him to never talk about his wife again and that their session is over. Despite pushing him so hard, Sean sees the potential to break though to Will, and requests that Lambeau keep scheduling him to come by.

Throughout their session Sean is trying to understand why Will, despite his genius and his intellect, has decided to go nowhere with his gift. Why would he let his talent go to waste while consciously deciding to work in labor the rest of his life?

Good Will Hunting was a great film, definitely a must watch and a timeless classic. In my opinion it was one of the best performances I’ve seen Matt Damon or Robin Williams portray. The characters have a great amount of depth to them and the relationships that they build are fantastic. The journey the film takes you through is very real, making it worth watching from start to end.


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