Wednesday, April 30, 2014

04/30 (b): Good Will Hunting

One of the most acclaimed movies by both critics and audiences came about in the late 90s, with newcomers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. This was written by the two, and with that came a great success story. Both were obscure actors who went from Beantown to Hollywood, seemingly overnight. I'm sure the title had some people curious.

Matt Damon plays Will Hunting, a genius/streetwise tough lawbreaker/orphan and janitor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). He analyzes a very tough mathematical equation that not even the students can figure out! However, he keeps to himself until a professor (Stellan Skarsgard) catches him and tries to bail Will out of going to jail. Will, who's sentenced for punching a police officer (along with a long rap sheet), is given emancipation as long as he does the math and sees a therapist. That therapist is Dr. Sean Maguire, who tries to get through to Will, but together they form a bond, teaching each other the facts of life, among many things.

I admit it took me a while to get into this movie. I saw it at the theater weeks after its release, but what really grabbed me at first was Robin Williams' powerful performance. He was the Robin Williams I have never seen in any of his movies: strong, honest and serious. The one thing I didn't really consume well was the ending, and how Will's relationship with his girlfriend panned out (SPOILER). I do believe that it's probably there to give us hope.

The argument between Maguire and Skarsgard's character Professor Lambeau is a moment I consider iconic in the film because it gives the viewer two very different perspectives that mirror our lives. How do we know what we want or what the person we're trying to help wants? Who is this really about? Have we grown up yet? What is growing up? On the movie's facebook page a few days ago it had a picture of the two men and the caption read, 'There are two sides to every argument'. I have to agree and its relevant.

Some of my friends consider this to be in their Top 10 of their favorite movies. I can understand why; as this would be in my Top 20. At first I found the movie very depressing, and while I don't really feel that way anymore, I consider it to be more motivating and inspirational at the same time. Maybe it's just one of those movies that gets better with time, or one that gets better everytime I watch it.

If you haven't seen this yet, please do so. Rated R for fighting violence and strong language.

My rating: 9 out of 10
Tomatometer: 97%

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