Good Will Hunting
Robin William’s character in “Good Will Hunting” helps exploit the intelligence within Matt Damon’s character and helps the young man escape his adolescence through accepting his past. Matt Damon plays his part differently throughout the film to show us how his character is maturing and dealing with the new perception on life he is being opened up to. How the film is shot and the type of character he plays in different environments helps accentuate Matt Damon’s character. Matt Damon puts together a character that displays a young man with a very high I.Q and great potential with his intelligence.
Matt Damon’s character builds a relationship with his psychologist that changes him from a boy into a man. In the beginning of this relationship they test each other and press on one another’s buttons to get a feel for the type of person they are. The camera goes back and forth to each of them expressing how they are each trying to impose dominance. The best example of this is when they go through an entire session of complete silence. Matt Damon does a good job of displaying how disengaged his character is while his psychologist tries to crack him or find out the type of guidance he needs. He does this by slouching and adjusting his attention off of himself onto other things such as the painting or his cigarette. The cigarette is a symbol of escape for Matt Damon’s character or a crutch to escape reality in a sense. The Character Matt Damon plays is individualized again and again in the film, especially in the scene where Matt Damon’s character’s group of friends gets into a fight. Most of the scene is played in slow motion, but when the camera is fixed on Will (Matt Damon) it is speed up into real time. This shows the significance of violence in his life and how this has more of an effect on his character.
Matt Damon plays the character differently depending on his setting/environment in the film. In most situations throughout the film he is in charge of the situation and the focus or centerpiece of attention. He is passionate and confident or vulnerable and scared depending on his environment. In the bar scene with his friends he is arrogant and eager to stick up for his buddy. When he tells the girl he is seeing he does not love her, he is vulnerable and scared. We can easily see that Matt Damon is scared to reveal his past and the reason for his hurt by how he treats both the girl and his psychologist. As each of their relationships develop he first is confident and towards the end opens up for them. When Matt Damon’s character is serious he is yelling or the camera shows a close up of his face, like in the NSA scene. We can see the respect that Will has for Robin William’s character throughout their meetings by how the body language is shown toward the end of their sessions. Will stops smoking cigarettes, slouching, and counting down the minutes until the session is up. There is no more sense of urgency and he begins to see the wisdom underneath “an old man who lost his wife”. His transition from adolescence into a man is secured by the two opening up completely to one another with tears and a hug at the end of the film. This shows the appreciation the two characters have for each other.
The lone and sole difference I can see with Ben Affleck playing “Will” instead, would be his height difference and the comparison between Robin Williams and Ben. It would have been hard to show how level headed each of them are and how similar. Matt Damon creates a profound meaningful character that gives us an insightful look at what his character is going through first hand. It takes us out of the movie theatres and puts us on the streets of Massachusetts. He creates a whole character that brings about a great deal of realism and triggers our emotions inspiring our love for film.
Good Will Hunting