When people approach you and say that you don’t stand a chance, stop for a moment, take a big breath and remember Good Will Hunting.
In 1997, two young actors whose faces weren’t yet recognisable wrote a screenplay together and got it produced. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s debut was better than they ever could have hoped – taking home two Oscars and an enormous amount of recognition and success.
Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, is a genius who is trapped in a difficult and painfully ordinary life. The set is clear from the start: awful family background, living in a bad neighbourhood, getting into trouble, spending his evenings drinking in the pub and working as a janitor at MIT. One day, a professor at the university challenges his students to solve a difficult problem; something that would take weeks or even months – a problem solved by Will the janitor in the space of a single night. When the professor finds the solution the next day, Will is illuminated as a brilliant young man with the potential to do great things. Convincing Will to become a student in MIT is hard though. Will is facing jail for beating someone that used to bully him as a child, so when Professor Gerald Lambeau comes to him with a deal, he agrees. Will must visit a therapist in order to stay out of jail and work alongside the professor. But finding the adequate therapist is not that easy until Sean Maguire, played by Robin Williams, is introduced. There is when the story begins.
Watching a film like Good Will Hunting is always worth it. It’s just so perfectly constructed, managing to grab hold of the viewer tightly with a stubborn grip. The characters are well-built and interesting; they all have something to offer to the plot and to the theme of the film. Every scene leads to the next in such natural way, which makes it undeniably real. This film may even be called a romantic one – not genre wise – for its ideals. These young heroes are still believers, they don’t care about money and they couldn’t care less about fame. They have values, they believe in love and in friendship. Ben Affleck incarnates Will’s best friend, Chuckie Sullivan, as the epitome of what a best friend should be: the one who believes in you, who is there to remind you of what you can achieve.
Good Will Hunting says that in order to succeed, you must be the first who believes in yourself – simply put but ultimately true. In order to move on, you have to let things go and in the end, self-forgiveness is as a crucial as anything else.