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Good Will Hunting

May 29, 2013

Matt Damon is 27 years old when he makes one of his best performances in “Good Will Hunting” (1997). When I quickly make a review of his filmography in IMDb, this is his earliest movie I have seen so far. And yet it has its honorable place in my “Personal best” selection.

Good_Will_Hunting_theatrical_posterI love the movie not only because of the top performances of Matt Damon (Will Hunting) and Robin Williams, but also because the story is made of layers and layers and layers and every time I watch it I could find new messages, new hidden lines in the dialogues.

It is all about a young man from South Boston, an orphan who had a tough and an unhappy past but turns out to be a mathematical genius. It is a story of whether you are supposed to do what you like to do, what are meant to be or you will choose to follow what your heart says. I managed to extract couple of messages I gave serious thoughts about.

People around us

The first impression the movies gives about Will is that he is losing his time with his friends and is some kind of reckless small-time bully who has difficulties keeping his low qualified jobs. The job he has at the moment is a janitor in the MIT. Is this choice of work accidental? Maybe not. As it quickly turns out he is a mathematical genius and when no one is watching gives solutions to tasks which are difficult even for the most advanced students and even professors in the institute. And that is easy for him. As he describes it himself later in the movie, to him it is as playing the piano for Beethoven. Will has a gift, a unique talent that he secretly wants to use so that he could prove to all other rich kids with their expensive education that an orphan like him, a nobody, is capable of so much. In some way it makes you think of the people we don’t know and see on a regular daily basis and have no idea who they are, what they are capable of. Unfortunately in many cases those people who truly have talents and are truly special in some way, never get revealed.

good-will-hunting1Giving a direction

Will’s talent is found by the Professor of Mathematics Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) who teaches in the MIT. Very quickly Gerry realizes Will’s gift and all he wants is to give him a direction to develop his talent. He is certain that Will is going to be a phenomenon and his work could be compared to the one of Albert Einstein and other famous scientists. According to Gerry’s own words, he can’t stay calm when he knows that someone like Will exists. The professor is one of those people who loves what he does, he even compares finding a mathematical solution to poetry. And this is why he wants to push Will in a direction where he would be able to achieve spectacular things and his contribution could leave huge trails in history.

The right approach

In order for Will to avoid jail time after another fight, he has to visit psycho therapist and here comes Robin Williams (Sean Maguire). To be honest I haven’t seen matt-damon-good-will-huntingmuch of his performances and I suspect I have skipped a lot. I must even say that his role in “Good Will Hunting” made me such huge impression that this and couple of other roles form my entire vision of this actor.
On their first meeting Will manages to very quickly enrage Sean and arrogantly poke in an open wound of the therapist without even knowing his background. Fortunately for both of them Sean doesn’t give up on him and agrees that they meet again. Their conversations to come are quite powerful and meaningful and oppose pure knowledge and theory to real life experience. With those meetings Sean manages to go beyond the barriers Will has put in front of him and teaches the boy important lessons of life.

Do what you feel is right

It is quite interesting how on one hand the professor pushes Will to a great and prosperous future and on the other hand the therapist Sean spares him from that light forWillHuntingm of manipulation. Sean wants that Will finds his own way, without pressure, but also without wasting his talent and continuing with his childish behavior. I personally think that at the end the story is all about how you could overcome a difficult past and find the way in your life. The important thing is that you must feel this is the right way for you, you shouldn’t allow yourself to live according to someone else’s visions and ambitions. And all it takes could be a small push with the right approach in the right direction.


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