ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Second Look: Good Will Hunting

Updated on September 11, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1997, Gus Van Sant released Good Will Hunting which starred Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard, Minnie Driver, Casey Affleck, Cole Hauser, Colleen McCauley, John Mighton, Rachel Majorowski, Richard Fitzpatrick, Scott William Winters, Rob Lyons, Steven Kozlowski, Jimmy Flynn, and George Plimpton. The film grossed $225.9 million at the box office and was nominated for multiple awards including the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Song, Best Music, Original Dramatic Score, the Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, the Empire Award for Best Film, and the MTV Movie Awards for Best Movie, Best Male Performance, Best On-Screen Duo, and Best Kiss. The film won many other awards such as the Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture, the Golden Trailer Award for Best Drama, and the Satellite Award for Best Screenplay, Original.

Synopsis

Young Will Hunting is gifted with extraordinary mathematical skills but instead choose to work in a janitorial job at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Loyal to his friends, Will pushes away anyone else who tries to get close to him. However, after solving a complex mathematical equation, Will is discovered by Professor Lambeau who sees potential in him and sends him to psychiatrist Sean Maguire.

Review

The film that made stars out of Affleck and Damon, Good Will Hunting is a great film that presents the inner conflict of a troubled young adult with past full of abuse. However, that’s really what made Will into such an interesting character. Throughout the film he’s shown as having trust issues due to what happened to him in the past, but those experiences also gave him a sense of not wanting to show anybody getting to him. This can be seen when he states that he always chose to be beaten with a wrench by his father out of his desire to prove he was the better man. At the same time, he is also shown to possess brainpower that many of the other characters in the film envy. While the film doesn’t display a lot of his genius in action, rather showing him putting the final touch on some equations, the audience does see his mind work in other situations, such as how he cleverly works to get various psychiatrists to drop him as a client as well as how he’s able to demonstrate his understanding of geopolitical conflicts and all of their ramifications when he’s interviewed by the director of the NSA. It’s fascinating to see that one of the biggest challenges in the film comes in him being convinced to use his abilities for long-term benefits rather than the short term.

That convincing is what makes the difference between Maguire and Lambeau’s methods in getting him to succeed, namely how they believe he should use his potential. On one hand, there’s Maguire who believes that Will doesn’t want to use his gifts and works to get the boy to trust him, understand his mind is something special, and make him want to have the desire to make something of himself. On the other hand, Lambeau sees Will as just being lazy and intentionally squandering his gift. As such, Lambeau decides the best course of action is to oversee Will’s instruction and force him to make something of himself whether or not he wants to.

Notably, the film also presents one of Will’s friends, Chuckie, pointing out that Will has something that he would kill to have. As such, while Will wants to stay in South Boston and spend his time doing manual labor with his friends and using his mind for short term benefits, Chuckie wants him to be the one to use his gifts and leave the area so Will doesn’t just wind up the guy he lives next to and watches football games with for the next 50 years. In fact, Chuckie feels so strongly about that that he straight up tells Will that he’ll kill the guy if he does that, prefacing it with that he’s his best friend, showing that Chuckie really does want what’s best for Will.

5 stars for Good Will Hunting

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)