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Good Will Hunting August 10, 2006

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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Different people have different levels of talent, ability or intelligence. Those who have higher levels of these are generally expected to reach greater heights of achievement by utilizing their potential to the max. Should such capabilities become a burden to those who posess them. A person with a great vocal ability is expected to achieve greatness as a singer but what if he hates music? Should he still be forced to pursue singing just because he has the capability (I would say ‘NO’ but practical experience suggests that people around you i.e. parents, friend, well-wishers etc. influence you to do things that you would not ordinarily pursue because they believe they know what is best for you). If you have ever had similar questions in your mind, you will love this movie. From my childhood to this day, this question has been bothering me. Apart from the quality of the movie, the identification factor (in terms of the thoughts – I don’t claim to be a genius like Will Hunting in the movie) places this movie in my list of favorites. Watching this movie rekindled the urge in me to write and direct a film (Yes, I’m pursuing other things because people believe that is not the best thing for me to do while I believe that I would have been a happier following that path even if I was not a great success).

The screenplay I believe is the key to this movie and hats off to the writers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Another key aspect of the movie is the dialogue because the movie is mostly conversations and little else. Director Gus Van Sant (To Die For, Finding Forrester) neatly crafts this one and his work is also key to the impact of the film. The performances of Matt Damon and Robin Williams apart from the able supporting cast (Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgård) add to the experience. This is an enjoyable experience for most (unless you are looking only for mindless entertainment). I would highly recommend this movie.

This is one movie that I wish Indian parents (I can’t comment on those from others countries) would watch. This is because Indian parents tend to decide most things for their kids (or at least have a great influence on the decisions) from their career path to their life partner. Even the more progressive ones like mine still stop me from taking what they think are undue risks. We should give our children choices and let them decide what they want to do instead of deciding what is best for them. What is best for you is not necessarily the best for everyone else (or anyone else for that matter). Doing what one wants is what makes him/her the happiest. That I believe is true achievement.

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1. Shujath - August 10, 2006

I’d seen this one probabaly a couple of months back…..frankly speaking, I didn’t want to rent this one out, because I had a vague idea about this movie being another underdog story which Hollywood dishes out at an alarming rate; but anyways to decided to watch it because it was an Oscar winner. In fact even while watching it I predicted that the story would go something like this….Matt Damon is like some untamed genius and how Robin Williams polishes him against all odds and makes him a winner – that’s how generally such stories end 🙂 but it was a pleasant surprise as the film unfolds in later reels.

There are many movies which I’ve liked but very few which actually make me feel happy. This was one of them. I fully echo your thoughts when you say that this is something all parents should watch. But most importantly, this is something our peers should watch…I say this because in my personal experience I’ve had many embarrassing discussions with my friends/colleagues who give hours of gyaan about ‘utilizing my potential’ et al crap and label me unambitious or childish for holding opinions otherwise. In fact, I avoid any discussion whatsoever with anyone regarding “career growth” and similar sounding stuff because it doesn’t make sense to me.

I don’t think we’ve had an Indian movie with a similar sounding theme…and I don’t think it’ll ever be made; at most you’ll see (and have beeing seeing) stories about rich kids ‘sacrificing’ their riches and running away from home for their love.

Bottomline: strongly recommended for everyone


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