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Movie Review: Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting surprised me so much that I could not help but be on the edge of my seat during the whole thing. Will Hunting, a young man from humble beginnings and surroundings, gets a job as a janitor at MIT in the film. People are astonished to hear that he is a hidden genius with a high IQ and can solve complicated arithmetic problems better than the academics at MIT. Afterward, he gets into a confrontation with a police officer and is jailed, but he is quickly freed because his admiring mathematics professor, Gerald Lambeau, posts bail. This event shows how ethos and pathos have been used; in the film, Will needs to attend therapy once a week and assist Dr. Lambeau with his math homework, which explains misfortunes, emotions, and conditions (Kaspar 138). Hunting has much success in therapy, and by the film’s conclusion, they have discovered their life’s true purpose.

The film deals with many issues, including love, trust, and dependency. Will realizes the solutions to his issues may not lie in literature but in love since he decides to be vulnerable in front of his fiancée. While these ideas are explored, I believe the film’s real message is one of self-discovery. Hunting struggles with identity and finding his place in the world throughout the film but has an epiphany at the conclusion that finally allows him to settle into himself. As a result, he can accept himself as more than simply a brilliant mind or a rugged man of the cloth. Looking back to the film’s beginning, we discover that Will does not come from a nice place, bouncing from foster home to foster family and never feeling like he belongs anywhere. While in foster care, he lived with an abusive alcoholic as a foster father and never had a love of a biological family. Therein, however, is the film’s connection to its viewers (Szabados 49). The truth is that nobody comes from a perfect family, but it does not mean we do not all have to learn to evolve and change in response to the challenges we face.

Along with these touching topics, the performers in this film were outstanding and made an indelible impression on me. It is hardly surprising that many of them are now quite successful. How they expressed their feelings throughout each scene persuaded me to feel what they felt, and to tell you the truth, there were instances when I put myself in the character’s position to experience it. For instance, the moment between Matt Damon’s character, Will, and Skylar, who plays his girlfriend, is one of many fantastic scenes because they make you feel like you were there. Ironically, despite our interest in Will, we know very little about his past until he begins to shout about his abuse experiences and scars. And not only to her but to the audience as well, this news is a complete surprise. I was on edge as Hunting encircled Skylar, raged at her, spilling out details of his abuse history, and almost slapped her as he shoved her against the wall (Kaspar 138).

Moreover, her facial expressions, body language, and the way she delivered her words with dread and some shakiness in her voice conveyed the depth of her sadness when Will informed her that he did not truly love her. He was shouting at her with such intensity and anguish just before telling her in a calm voice that he did not love her and then walking away, leaving her to sob and break down by herself, it was the cherry on top, and the bomb went off. It was easy for him to admit, though: he does not love her. Of course, he did not intend it that way, but if she stops thinking about him, he will not have to force himself to confront the deep traumas in his life. Everything that has happened here—the sobbing and shouting—proves that avoiding a person is less difficult than letting them in (Ferreira 53).

In conclusion, it is clear that Will has a temper, but he does not use his intelligence to help him get through his hard life. The story is about many different personal demons, but the movie’s characters are there to help. Everyone in this movie has a problem, like a psychologist, who cannot get over the fact that his wife died, which explains the appeal of pathos in this film. Each character’s problems affect them mentally and emotionally, and you can see how they change and how far they are willing to go to be better. Even though the movie makes you feel many things and makes you want more, some people say, “All in all, the movie has many fun parts, but it is not as deep as the filmmakers want you to think.” In contrast, if you pay enough attention to how the story goes in the movie, you can see what the characters are thinking and how everything is connected. By the way, the words and sentences are put together, and the movie makes you feel like you are right there with all the emotions and feelings, showing an appeal to the morals of life.

Work Cited

Ferreira, Michael. “Film: Good Will Hunting.” Philosophy Now 150 2022: 52-55.

Kaspar, Wendi A. “Good Will Hunting, Intellectual Humility, and Conversations in Quarantine.” College & Research Libraries 82.2 (2021): 138.

Szabados, Tamás. “Good Will Hunting.” Philosophy Now 112 (2016): 48-49.


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