Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is, at first glance, an ordinary young man from a poor part of Boston, but a young man who has an extremely high IQ and, instead of, like all his intelligent peers, studying at a prestigious college, he works at one of them as a janitor. When the esteemed professor Lambo (Stellan Skarsgård), otherwise a mathematical genius, sets his students a difficult and almost unsolvable mathematical task, Will secretly solves it on a bulletin board in the hallway of the faculty. The professor and the students come across a solved task, but not the one who solved it.
Meanwhile, Will gets into a fight, arrests him, hits a police officer and threatens him with imprisonment. After a while, the professor finds out who solved the task and decides to have fun with Will – if he wants to avoid prison, he will have to go to him for math classes, but also to visit a psychiatrist to calm down his temperamental nature. Will has problems with therapy, but everything changes when his psychiatrist becomes Sean (Robin Williams), a benefactor who grew up in the same conditions as Will.
This American film was made by Gus Van Sant, best known not only for this film, but also for Promised Land, My Own Private Idaho, Milk and a remake of the cult Psyche. This director and producer started as a director of indie films, and his transition to the mainstream was marked by directing this very title. After a very similarly set-up project Finding Forrester from 2000, Gus Van Sant returns to his indie roots in directing, but only for a short time, because we expect a great drama this year with Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts, and he also announced his version of Death Note . He has been nominated twice for an Oscar. In his films, he cannot escape the spirit of the human rights movement, and most of his films speak about it in one way or another, and he himself has won similar awards.
The screenplay for the film was written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Everyone knows that they won an Oscar for their work, and I must say that it is deserved. They were then one of the strongest screenwriting hopes of Hollywood – Affleck is still very successful in that world, while Damon has been lost in the meantime. Their contribution is primarily in the excellent replicas, characteristic of Boston’s streets and the people who grew up on it, and without those sentences this film would not be too different from the personification of Hollywood mediocrity and propaganda.
The plot of the film reminded some critics of Rain Man, because both films have a mathematical genius as the main character. While the main character in Rain Man was a genius thanks to autism, Will Hunting has his mathematical abilities thanks to his high IQ. What has raised the demand for this project is the fact that it is much better than the dry Hollywood project, with a warm story that easily catches the open hearts of viewers and tangible quality, but there are still critics who consider it a predictable soap opera. They cite the fairytale nature of the basic setting as the reasons – the main character is a supergenie from many areas, handsome, strong, desirable to women and resourceful in pub fights, you will agree that it is a little too much. Of course, the script also failed to explain how Hunting had time to acquire knowledge in mathematical fields if he spent most of his time on the street.
The screenwriting tandem also stars. Damon provides a really great performance, with frequent shifts of disinterest, anger, laughter and tears. The cast is also led by Stellan Skarsgård and Robin Williams, for whom this is one of the brightest roles in his career. I don’t think we should spend too much words praising all the roles, because the script has been brought to perfection, and thus their role. Also starring are the younger Affleck, Casey Affleck, and Minnie Driver, a British actress with an sometimes irritating accent. Personally, I don’t need the character of this actress because it only serves to gain in the length of the film, and also, as some critics would say, to show that Will Hunting is not a homosexual.
Dramas like this buy me, intelligently arranged, without addressing the viewer only on a pathetic basis. Yes, maybe this film is too naive, maybe too little elaborated on a psychological basis, maybe not convincing enough in some segments, but it restores hope in good people. This is a warm human story that in a way balances good and evil in today’s cruel world, no matter how unrealistic it may seem to many.