Movie Mondays: New Focus!Posted on the 13 June 2011 by Shawndrarussell
For my first Movie Monday, I want to share one of my all-time favorite movies, Good Will Hunting. I love this movie for so many reasons...Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote it together as young, bright-eyed twentysomethings, the acting, Robin Williams in one of if not his best role, and the delve into the psyche of a genius. Even more than these aspects, the movie touches me at my core because it is about the baggage we carry, burdens we bear, and the layers that all people are made up of.
This movie reminds me that too often, we judge someone quickly and then keep them in that box, not noticing when they grow, how perceptive they are, or when they are struggling and need us to step in and help. Without Robin William's character Dr. Maguire, would Will Hunting have became the man he did? The importance of taking advantage of interacting with the right people and getting the most out of your relationships becomes abundantly clear with their therapeutic sessions.
I have also always loved the "flawed hero" that has a soul, struggles with a sense of identity, and does the right thing. The message is that even though they have made mistakes and made bad decisions, at their core they are a good person. Much like Randal McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Will Hunting is an imperfect hero in the sense that he is brave enough to do what he has to do, which is save himself. In saving himself, he also helps inspire his friends, girlfriend, and his own therapist.
The character development and analysis, the sense of competition yet support between friends, and the concept of overcoming extremely difficult life events with humor and intelligence are all fascinating aspects of this movie. The themes and duality of friendship, identity, coming to terms with one's childhood, failure, and love all teach lessons about doing the things that scares you because those are the things that you are meant to do. This good kind of fear is just an indicator that you are on the right path, just like Will when he heads out to California to "go see about a girl."
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