“Good Will Hunting,” directed by Gus Van Sant, is one of the most well known and beloved movies of all time. This inspiring movie is about the story of teachers and students, pride and modesty, and path and purpose.
This incredible story is about the life of Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a 20-year-old who works as a janitor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But, he is born with an uncanny photographic memory and incredible talent in the field of mathematics. A professor in MIT, Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), discovers Will’s amazing ability when he catches him solving a problem that took he and his colleagues two years to solve.
Gerald dreads that Will’s talents are going to waste, so he tries to inspire him by enlisting the help of his old friend, Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). Together they solved the only problem that Will cannot solve alone, his own insecurity of rejection, and helped Will find his way in life.
Other than the inspiring story itself, the movie also did well on easing the tension by sprinkling some banters and laughters throughout the serious plot. Throughout the entire movie, each scene is filled with just the right amount of lighthearted humors mixed with emotional crescendos.
The concept of self-actualization has always been a difficult riddle, for it is on the very top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In Will’s case, he is uncertain of his path not because he is afraid of his capabilities. He is an absolute genius, but he is uncertain of his future because of his insecurities.
He grew up as an orphan and later abused by his guardian, so he has a deep fear for rejections. He doesn’t trust anyone that can potentially reject him, so he rejects them first, from the people trying to help him to even the girl that he loves. He believes that his friends are the only ones that will accept him for who he is because of their similar backgrounds and experiences growing up.
Through the struggles that the protagonist endures while searching for his true identity and passion, I was left once again to think over my own actualization. Like Will, I freeze when being asked about my path. “What do you want to be in the future? What is your dream college? What major are you going to study?” And my answer for all of them has been, “I don’t know yet.”
It is a great question for others to ask, and a very difficult question for students to answer. Some are too shy to say the truth, some are too afraid to show their ambition, and some are just simply undecided. It will take a great amount of time and experience for students like me to truly discover their path and passion. Such a decision is one of the most important and influential in one’s life after all.
And with such a decision made, Will Hunting finally found his path and the courage to chase his dreams.