Brief Examination: Good Will Hunting (1997)


Good Will Hunting is a raw, powerful and moving piece of cinema that feels authentic in its blend of the intellectual characters and the regular locals of South Boston. However, its biggest success is that it speaks to how powerful cinema can be in portraying the mundane, the typical and the little flourishes of the extraordinary that we can find in life.

On a small level, the shot composition speaks to that idea; nearly every shot that is outdoors has a great radiant beauty to it, feeling as though nature itself is smiling on our protagonist. On a larger level, Will Hunting and his gift of mathematical genius speaks to the aforementioned idea.

Matt Demon, early in his career showed that he had an acute screen presence, and the film is indicative of that. From his cock-sure attitude to some of his tender scenes that are heartbreaking, Demon is the heart of the film. The soul of the picture is Robin Williams as Will`s mentor- Dr Sean Maguire.

The best aspect of William`s performance is the understated sadness that he brings out in his facial expressions and demeanour. It speaks to the overall success of the film in showcasing that in life, people can be complicated and multi-faceted. Cinema can be more than just a medium that illustrates heightened portraits of ourselves.

About Sartaj Govind Singh

Notes from a distant observer: “Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”
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