EKFR | Good Will Hunting

Good_Will_Hunting_theatrical_poster


STARRING: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgard

DIRECTED BY: Gus Van Sant

YEAR: 1997


BRIEF

A young janitor at the MIT and regular hooligan named Will Hunting (Damon) is discovered to be gifted in mathematics, but is very reluctant to make the most of it and change his life for the better, much to the dismay of college professor Gerald Lambeau (Skarsgard).

In light of this, Lambeau sets up sessions for Will with therapist and old roomote Sean Maguire (Williams) in the hopes of opening him up and realising his potential.

 

PROs

  • Robin Williams in one of his greatest performances ever, showing a lot of restrain and displaying sentiment when required
  • Matt Damon impresses in his first major starring role as Will, and has a surprisingly strong chemistry with Williams
  • Most of the supporting cast deliver, especially Minnie Driver as the romantic interest, Ben Affleck as – ideally – the best friend and Stellan Skarsgard as the tutor.
  • Beautiful direction from Gus Van Sant
  • An underrated soundtrack by Danny Elfman
  • Gripping writing, mixed with the great acting, keeps the viewer transfixed for the entire 2 hour duration
  • Numerous themes tackled incredibly well, including relationships, the effects of domestic abuse and moving on from the past
  • An inspiring message that encourages you to face your fears, take the leap and make a better future for yourself
  • One of the funniest improvised scenes in all of cinema, made all the more glorious by the cameraman’s battle to hold back the laughter and keep the shot still
  • “It’s not your fault…”

 

CONs

  • While undoubtedly a good movie, the plot and the writing in general smells strongly of Oscar-bait
  • Some of Will’s friends can get a little irritating at times

 

VERDICT

From start to finish, a captivating and heartening picture with a brilliant cast and superb emotional writing. Matt Damon has probably yet to top himself here, and this is by far one of Robin Williams’ finest showings, especially in the dramatic field.

It also leaves a supreme feeling of hope and positivity by the time it is over. A magnetic and impactful film with very few flaws, and it cannot be recommended enough.


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