Good Will Hunting review: One Of The Best Hollywood Dramas

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RIP Robin Williams

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is an orphan living out of money earned by doing labor work with his friends Chuckie (Ben Affleck), Morgan (Casey Affleck) and Billy (Cole Hauser). He has a high IQ level and solves many difficult math and chemistry problems and does self-study in his spare time. To him, education is like how music is to Beethoven. But his life is downhill all for no reasons, he picks up unnecessary fights and lands in jail. Fate brings him before Prof Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), who sees greatness in him. He bails him out and puts him under his supervision. After 5 attempts, he finally goes to see Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), a psychologist and former roommate of his to help Will. What follows is Sean’s therapy sessions which help Will in his road to adulthood, added to that he develops a relationship with a British student named Skylar (Minnie Driver) who is doing her medical studies.

Good Will Hunting have been following me everywhere, mainly in the websites and lists that featured best films of Hollywood or cult films list. In addition to that, the Blu-ray of this movie kept on calling me. So I gave it a shot and the result is refreshingly good. The movie is a perfect combination of drama, humor, and narration. Technically, it is taken with ease backed by memorable soundtracks and accurate colors by avoiding tints. We see the life of South Boston and lifestyle of young kids studying at Harvard. Gus Van Sant  made quite an impact with his directorial venture backed by a script written by two young boys-cum-future superstars; Ben Affleck and Matt Damon gave us a powerful tale taking place in South Boston. In spite of directing this gem, I still couldn’t forgive Gus Van Sant for desecrating an all time great classic by making a shot-by-shot remake of it, Psycho. Matt Damon disappeared inside his persona as Will Hunting and he delivered a performance worth remembering. He was over 25 years and yet he looked and acted like a teenager. His combination scenes with Robin Williams is admirable. The movie belongs to Robin Williams. After seeing him in slapstick comedy and mimicry, his first-class take in a serious drama is exceptional, thus establishing his image as a versatile actor. Sean Maguire is an admirable character with a strong back-story. At one point, he reveals a tale about his relationship with his late wife, she is never shown on-screen yet we could understand the depth through his eyes and words. Robin Williams won a well-deserved academy award for his role. Minnie Driver is very impressive and received her academy award nomination, though seemingly she lacked chemistry with Damon. Her emotional scenes are up to the point. Stellan Skarsgard stood shoulder to shoulder with Williams and their verbal fight sequences are fantastic to watch. I watched this movie after “A girl with the dragon tattoo”, where Skarsgard played a role that is (kind of) hard to digest. His performance in this movie was a huge sigh of relief. Gerald Lambeau and Sean Maguire equally care for Will’s future but they have conflicting views on how to bring him to success. Even if we can’t accept his methods, we will admire Lambeau and his quest to bring Will to the right direction. Ben Affleck, Casey and Cole Hauser did their respective bucks for his movie as Will’s loyal friends, this movie has one of the best characters played by Ben Affleck until his almost ruined career (later revived by Argo) owing to his poor film choices, Gigli, paycheck, and daredevil. There are many memorable moments in this movie, the park bench scene where he reveals how much Will lacks his self-confidence and motivation. That park bench is now a memorial. The one scene that made this movie a cult phenomenon is definitely the healing sequence where Sean finally convinces Will that being an abuse victim is not his fault. Will grabs Sean and breaks down into tears onto to his shoulders and we see the glint of light in Sean’s eyes as he succeeded in helping Will. The actor’s tragic passing was indeed a shock, not to mention, the circumstances of his death. The actor was suffering from severe anxiety and depression as well early stages for Parkinson’s disease.

While Good Will Hunting is a great film with an adorable story and intense performances, one of the major factors that made it a cult classic is indeed the “healing” effect it produced to people especially the ones suffering from depression and survivors of abuse. The film is also insight for all to understand their hidden talents and to go for they want to do in life and relationships. Good Will Hunting is a must watch for all and it is taken at a time when Hollywood had released the best and the most variety of films.

5/5

Featured image: cambridge.com

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