Starring: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck
Director: Gus Van Sant
Running Time: 126 mins
Good Will Hunting is an American film about a gifted young man, working as a janitor in a prestigious technical college in Massachusetts, who is taken under the wing of a professor at the university, and he opens him up to a psychologist who hopes to give him direction in his life.
This film is pretty powerful. It’s a fascinating story of a collection of enigmas; not maths problems, but some of the most complex and deep characters you’ll see on screen in your life, and centring around the most enigmatic of all, Will Hunting, I was totally gripped by this story from start to finish.
There’s got to be some serious credit for the writers of this film especially, because the way that this story is presented is not your average tale of discovery of self-worth, but is a twisting, brutal, and hard-hittingly emotional story, with countless shocks throughout, mostly carried out by the main characters.
It’s so rare that you get a film with such depth and interest for its main characters. It’s not just Will Hunting that gets a good look-into, but all of the supporting cast are also shown deeply, and are just as fascinating as anyone else in this film.
However, one of the most impressive things about how the characterisation worked out is that it was so genuinely convincing. With regards to Will Hunting, played fantastically by Matt Damon, throughout the film you’re stuck in two minds about his life, just as he is. On the one hand you’re desperately willing him on to go and maximise his genius potential, while on the other you feel so supportive of him that his desire to stay put in his own life ends up being what you often desire too.
Also, the fact that Will Hunting is such a likeable person, despite his very aggressive and largely difficult characteristics, is another impressive feat on the part of the filmmakers. Matt Damon’s performance adds a nice touch to it, while the way the supporting cast works around him really gives you a boost to adore him.
Minnie Driver’s endless support of Will mirrors your own, while Ben Affleck’s surprising depth and support of our main character turns him into someone that it’s impossible to dislike, however it’s the reasoning behind this all, brought out by Robin Williams’ character, the psychologist, that really shows you why he is how he is.
Overall, then, this gets an 8.5, because it was so intriguing, so well-written and well-acted, while being an original and well-functioning story.