Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Good Will Hunting (1997) – Classic Review

good-will-hunting-posterThe passing of Robin Williams has generated a well deserved resurgence of his past works. For the next little while, the high points of Williams’ career works shall be re-viewed and celebrated in all their glory as a way of remembering just how important this man was to not just Hollywood, but the worldwide entertainment industry.

A commemorative countdown will created in good time to celebrate Williams in general, but kicking off the list of fantastic films he had to his name is to some his best piece, “Good Will Hunting”.

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a janitor that goes about his life like any average janitor would; cleaning floors, washing windows, scrubbing tables, dusting shelves and solving near-impossible mathematical formulas.
Hunting is a genius, but not just the prodigy-like genius that every second high school class possessed, he is in a league of his own. Like that of a superhero, Hunting chooses to keep his gift relatively secretive, but during an evening out with his friends (all of which are relatively simple, particularly in comparison) Hunting reveals his intellectual capabilities during a heated argument regarding sophisticated academia, and in doing so, makes a snobbish student look extremely foolish.

dYBZv4SjzVZUbAZTSYBBo5hw6RHAs more and more grow aware of Hunting’s intelligence, a university professor takes him under his wing and attempts to guide him along the right path with the assistance of  renowned psychologist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams).

Hunting is a prime example of potential being dismissed by chaos and arrogance; he is rude, defensive and haughty like no other, and conflicts with almost everyone that tries to help him. He comes from a troublesome background that has seen him serve time in prion for assault charges, and is an extremely confused but unique individual.
Guidance is something Hunting needs, but doesn’t want; it is therefore an immense task that Maguire undertakes when attempting to push him in the right direction.

A subcategory of the actor’s performances, the strongest element within “Good Will Hunting” would undoubtedly be the script, but more specifically, the dialogue. It is clever, profound and unbelievably inspiring at numerous points throughout the film, furthermore it is funny, saddening and moving.

good-will-hunting-20The dialogue has it all, but it is topped off through the stellar performances of Damon and Williams. The supporting cast in Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Casey Affleck, Cole Hauser and Stellan Skarsgård also give excellent performances which add a lot to the diversity of Hunting’s associates as well as the character himself.

“Good Will Hunting” would have to be Gus Van Sant’s best work (we will try and forget his remake of “Psycho”…).
The construction, the progression, the exploration into character and the superb dialogue make for an excellent drama that engages, intrigues and moves it’s audience. Robin Williams is incredible as Maguire and demonstrates his emotionally driven dramatical skills in full – a perfect casting choice.
“Good Will Hunting” is a film that tackles the subject of intelligence and the hardships that ensue exceptionally well, not appearing pretentious and alienating, but modest and down to earth. It truly is an inspiring picture.

4/5

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