Directed by Gus Van Sant
Written by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, William Goldman
About 8 years ago I enjoyed Dead Poets Society which enchanted me due to the dialogues and the school setting because I could compare that events with my personal experience at that time. Today Good Will Hunting had the same effect, I have been fascinated by the speeches regarding priorities in life set in the context of the university. Although there is really nothing in common between these two movies, I found both particularly inspiring in the two different moments of my life in which I saw them.
The plot is based around Will, a 'difficult' boy who lives doing modest jobs and is often implicated in fights and other minor crimes with his similarly quarrelsome friends. However, he also have a special gift, a photographic memory and bright intelligence, which will soon change his life after a teacher at MIT accidentally discovers him solving complex problems on the hall blackboards.
While the story itself is quite original, the details are completely foreseeable and the movie often features various cliches of the genre. I usually don't condone this sort of things because it is usually boring to see a predictable movie but in Good Will Hunting the story is still very catching and enjoyable. Anyway, what makes the movie exceptional are the characters and the dialogues, I rarely find myself saying something like this but it is otherwise hard to explain why I liked it.
Vulgarity is used quite extensively and by almost every character which doesn't really annoy but just adds some realism to the dialogues and there are some colourful expressions and jokes which provides a few moments of real fun. There aren't many touching scenes, this may be seen as a major fault of the script but probably it has been just a debatable choice, made to prevent the movie from falling into an unacceptable piteous level. In fact, the most emotionally moving moments are intended to be thought provoking not just tear provoking!
The best moments of the movie are the dialogues between Will and the psychologist played with great ability by Robin Williams, the weakest ones are usually related to the love story (probably because I don't like Minnie Driver at all...). Fortunately, the former outshine the latter both in quantity and especially in 'quality'. There is also a memorable 'monologue' by Will that explains to the N.S.A. people why he don't want to work for them...
The ending is fair although not completely brilliant, it is an obvious conclusion for the linear and predictable series of events portrayed in the movie. However, it is hard to find a better finale because all the other possibilities wouldn't be adequate and would leave a sense of distaste, including my always favourite dramatic or 'open' ending!