I’m changing the “Movie Recommendation” category to “Movie To Watch” category. For some reason, Movie Recommendation feels too formal. Honestly, telling somebody why to watch a movie should always be a free flowing and fun filled, pouring your heart out about the movie. Books, well I’ve written too many Book Recommendations to change it now (He says trying to be funny). So, here goes to the first Movie to Watch. Be warned, there is a torrent of emotions and other various feelings for those who dare to venture to read this article!
Good Will Hunting is one of those movies you keep in the category of the movies to watch at least once every year. For me, I have a lot of movies in that category. All the Star Wars, Good Will Hunting, Garden State, Up in the Air, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, This is where I Leave You. But Good Will Hunting, damn. Okay, I’ll let you in here on a little secret. Not proud of it, not many people know of it, but it’s still there. Here goes. I’m a big Star Wars fan. Star Wars was the first movie I saw that I actually remember. I say this myself, I was raised by my parents and Star Wars. I have seen all the Star Wars 15 times over 16 years, with the tally going as high as 30 for the Original Trilogy. So, Star Wars always reigned supreme as the best movie I had ever seen (the whole series just to clarify). But for a brief period, of about three months in 2014, Star Wars was displaced from the throne it had sat on for so many years. Good Will Hunting hit so strongly, I watched it twice, and gave all the good scenes a third run before I was satisfied by watching this movie. Good Will Hunting, for that brief period, became the Best movie I had ever seen. That’s something that had never happened before that and something that will never happen again. Probably. But for Good Will Hunting to do such a thing, all Star Wars fans as well as cinemaholics will agree, is a colossal thing. So, I think that about sums up how amazing I feel Good Will Hunting is, and how strongly I feel about this movie.
The way I feel about it, I don’t think anybody else will. It’s such a, such an unpretentious movie. It’s a simple story about this boy, Will Hunting (Matt Damon), 20, who is a genius, somehow. He cans solve equations that maybe only one or two people in the world can yet he lays bricks and cleans floors at MIT for livelihood. He has various charges against him, all of which were cleared because of his history as being in several foster homes. He is self-destructive, pushes people away before they have a chance to get to know him. He has a bullshit answer for everybody, to deflect the topic, because he doesn’t want to go near the truth. Because the truth is, Will Hunting’s past still has him in a solid grip.
This movie has all the things I most probably love in a movie.
It is such a simple movie. It is just a simple story about a person coming to terms with himself and becoming better. Becoming Good. And in turn, the people related to this person, in the process of helping him become better, become better themselves. I won’t reveal how they become better, and here, better does not mean Good as in good person, but good as in leaving the past in the past, being fearless or standing up to a friend and putting some sense into him.
The title is such a thought provoker. It can be interpreted in two ways. One, how Will Hunting, the central character played by Matt Damon is a good person. The other, more philosophical and I think not meant, is how all the characters are hunting for Good Will. Good Will as in doing good or trying to do good. They’re all hunting for acts to try to do good and be good.
And Matt Damon. Now that Leonardo DiCaprio has his Oscar, can we get to how Matt Damon deserves one? It was his strength in portraying Will Hunting that takes your heart away. I remember this scene, between Will and Sean (Robin Williams as Will’s therapist), where they’re talking and the scene focuses on Matt Damon. And you can see it in Matt Damon’s eyes. His eyes portrayed the emotion Will Hunting had. And it felt so good. I went back to the start after this, and kept a close eye on Matt Damon’s eyes. And damn it, it just wasn’t that one scene where his eyes felt so powerful. Every scene, his eyes were reflective of his emotion. So good, so powerful. I don’t think any other actor would have been able to pull Will Hunting off this gracefully. This is to date, Matt Damon’s best role yet. And I don’t mean to be an ass or a bad person, BUT JACK NICHOLSON WAS NOT NEARLY THIS GOOD IN AS GOOD AS IT GETS. I’VE SEEN AS GOOD AS IT GETS, I DON’T SEE IT (he says like a raging Chandler Bing who makes everything funny).
Then there is Skylar, played by Minnie Driver, the love interest of Will Hunting. I won’t tell you the motions the two of them go through, but I feel Skylar is one of the most amazing characters I have ever seen. She is smart, she is kiddish, and honestly, her character is so cute. I mean, the way she talks, the way she treats Will and behaves with him, it feels so amazing. So perfect. When we talk about Good Will Hunting, how often do we talk about Minnie Driver’s Skylar? Very rarely. People tend to ignore or hoodwink her character for the two better performances in the movie, those being Matt Damon and Robin Williams. But for me, the very character of Skylar was a refreshing, easy to love character and the ay Minnie Driver pulls it of deserved an Oscar.
And Chuckie. Chuckie, Chuckie, Chuckie. Will Hunting’s best friend, played by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon’s best friend. Well, co-incidence? Hehehehe. Chuckie’s character was amazing, and as you can see in the pic below, I have said enough. The way Chuckie cares about Will, and puts some sense into him, that is one of the finest and most under rated scenes in film.
ROBIN WILLIAMS! The skill with which he portrayed Sean was pure class. The way he managed so well between a person who has lost a lot and is still optimistic, a person who is calm and serious yet also funny, a person who has seen good times and bad times, and most of all, a person who is wise and caring. Robin Williams has that rare ability to actually make you laugh out loud like crazy. I remember having to pause the movie because my mom walked in asking what happened that was so funny that I was laughing so loudly and waking everyone up. That is class. I was hitting my table, would’ve fallen off my chair if I wasn’t careful and I think I laughed for close to a minute. Don’t judge me, even the camera man laughed in that scene!
But oh, Gus Van Sant. The simplicity with which he has directed the movie. I’m no expert in direction, but I loved it. The angles Gus Van Sant uses, the timing and the way he places his characters, it felt natural and easy on the eyes. Another thing I really liked about his direction was how he showed the characters for a few seconds more after their scene ended. That way, we could get a close up of the character as they reacted and came to piece.
But all in all, I will be plagiarising Roger Ebert the Great a bit in saying, I have never truly seen a character like Will Hunting. He is the reason why the people he knows became better. Without him, his group of friends would just be guys who worked and went for drinks, without him, Skylar would never have found a guy she truly liked and be stuck with snobby uptown university kids. Sean would have been stuck in his past and never play another hand at life and be just another psychologist. Chuckie would’ve maybe never pushed anyone to do better in life. Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) would have just been another MIT Professor who placed achievements and his own ego above friends. It feels funny thinking, of how without Will Hunting, these lives would have never been made better.
Will Hunting is a man whom I would recommend you all to meet at least once, and also his rag tag group he surrounds himself with. Caution though, he won’t let you get close to him, not till near the end, but even looking at him from afar is a marvellous experience. And such an experience warrants one view at least.
This movie is truly amazing. A movie that, like I stated above, warrants at least one view. You may not love it, or even like it, but you’ll be glad you watched it.