Good  Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting (1997)

                                          reviewed by
                                          Ben Hoffman

                             GOOD WILL HUNTING

         Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote the wonderfully mature and perceptive script while still in college. That in  itself is quite astonishing; one does not usually find such insight in the young. In addition, the dialog was excellent; funny when that was its intent, on target when a point was to be made. All of which contributed to a most captivating film.

         Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a genius, not only in math but in just about any other field. With a photographic mind, he has total recall. He is not a "mixer," having but a few close friends, especially Chucky (Ben Affleck). Fame and fortune are not his bag so that when his professor, the brilliant mathemetician Lambeau, (Stellan Skarsgard) poses a difficult problem on the blackboard, Will solves it quickly but leaves no name as to who had worked out the problem.

         Will, an orphan with a step-father who abused him, does not take guff from anyone so it is not surprising that he gets in trouble beating up a policeman. One scene shows this genius mopping the floors of his school, MIT. Eventually, Lambeau realizes it is Will who solved the math problem even he was unable to do. He then makes it his mission to bring Will out of his mode of living and of his behavior and send him to several psychiatrists, none of whom are able to handle this genius. Finally, Will is asked to see Lambeau's old school-friend, psychology
professor Sean McGuire (Robin Williams).

         The whole portion of the film devoted to McGuire is beautifully rendered with many subplots about Sean teaching at a lowly community college whereas Lambeau has it made at MIT. Some very pithy remarks and exchanges take place between the genius and the professor. When Will tells Sean that he has a girlfriend (Minnie Driver) whom he loves; that both she and he are perfect, Sean replies "Neither you nor your girlfriend are perfect but what matters most is, are you perfect for each other?" When Lambeau tells McGuire that Will has the potential  to be world-famous, Robins asks, is that what you want for him or is that what Will wants?

         All in all, a most involving film with Robin Williams again giving his usual very fine performance and Matt Damon fulfilling his role admirably. Not to be missed.                        

Directed by Gus Van Sant.

     4 Bytes

     4 Bytes = Superb
     3 Bytes = Too good to miss
     2 Bytes = Average
     1 Byte  = Save your money

             Copyright 1997               Ben Hoffman

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