Bad Will Hunting

“While I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.” – Will Hunting

If one day I could be any person I wanted to be, I would instantly choose Will Hunting from the blockbuster film Good Will Hunting. A natural genius, Will has a tremendous amount of knowledge in arts and literature, and is capable of solving complex mathematical equations that professors from MIT cannot solve. However, one of his biggest struggles is to understand his place in the world due to a dramatic past and his tough exterior as an orphan from South Boston. He works for minimum wage and lives in a run-down house. Even though Will enjoyed his life of literature and education behind closed doors, it was indeterminable whether Will was content with his life or eager to leave his comfort zone in South Boston to challenge his intellect.

The first time I ever watched Good Will Hunting was in 2010, I found the ending extremely unsatisfying because the movie ended with Will abandoning his lifestyle while being hesitant about the future. Ever since then, I would often think of how I would act differently if I was as gifted as Will Hunting. And yes, I would make many different decisions that make me a more wealthy, successful, and happy person.

One of the interesting aspects about Will Hunting is his occupation — a janitor at MIT. While working as a janitor, Will solves a problem that the students at the institute had yet to conquer, however Will would not admit to the professors that he had solved it. This shows that Will lacks self-realization and does not wish the stability of his current life to be disturbed. In other words, he is afraid of taking chances. Although Will is content with what he has, he is missing out valuable opportunities at the same time. But if I was Will Hunting, I would start by quitting the janitor job, then reach out to the professors and perhaps collaborate with them on research projects. By doing so, not only would I be recognized for my knowledge but I would also prove to the professors at MIT that never judge a book by its cover. Furthermore, I would start to drop-in lectures at MIT they are made accessible and maybe I can learn a thing or two.

Everyone around Will starts to convince him to move on to something greater once they recognize his intelligence. However, Will remains in denial and refuses to give up his current lifestyle. It takes the guidance from Will’s best friend Chuck, to finally persuade Will to take advantage of his gift, not for himself, but for his friends and every other kid with the same lack of opportunities who would give anything for Will’s intelligence. It seems that Will is not grateful for what he has and selfish for only cares about his own life. What Will does not understand is that great power comes with greater responsibility. However, if I was Will, I would live up to the expectation of the people around me, and care about how I can contribute to the world. I would use my knowledge in mathematics and science to create more advanced technology and bring more wealth to the society.

Will’s sense of insecure is also reflected through his relationship with girlfriend Skylar. As their relationship grows serious, Will’s fear of commitment supports his struggle with his identity status. When Skylar asks Will to come to California with her, Will refuses her offer and feels the need to break up with her because he thinks she is a threat to his current lifestyle. He ends up leaving Skylar, who ultimately left to California by herself, hopeless and heart-broken. Although it is arguable that Will Hunting appreciated his talent but preferred to live his life as it was before recognition, he also has the illusion that Skylar is way out of his league, and that he cannot compete against the potential suitors Skylar might later encounter. Thus Will chooses to break up with Skylar first before she finds someone better and breaks up with him.

Although Will Hunting is portrayed as a highly rebellious and insecure character, he always wants to succeed but lacks the guidance. But if I was him, I would convert my rebellious characteristics into a boost of confidence that would help me step out of my comfort zone. I always thought Will deserves better — better job, friends, and life. I attempted to make that happen by remake the scenes from the movie and added some twists into them.

1

This photo is a remake of a well-known scene from the movie where Will Hunting tries to solve a complex matrix theory by writing on the mirror in his bathroom. I chose to capture this moment because this scene shows Will’s genius as well as his insecurity. On one hand, Will is able to prove the theory on his own. But on the other hand he chooses to work in the bathroom because he does not want any attention. Instead of taking the photo in my own bathroom, I took it at my friend’s house because I wanted work to be discovered and recognized. I also chose to write with a permanent marker which made it extremely difficult to erase. As in terms of fashion, I wore a peaked cap which Will Hunting likes to wear at times, along with a plain blue t-shirt.

2

Although Will fears the outside world and refuses to bring change into his life, he constantly reads to fulfill his curiosity. According to Ben Affleck, the director of Good Will Hunting, Will’s room is piled with over 500 books, from Greek mythology to astronomy physics. This photo is a remake of the scene where Will Hunting is reading his room. The significance of this scene is that reading makes up a large portion of Will’s knowledge, and books almost act like bridges that link him to the world of literature, science, and art. When Will’s girlfriend Skylar asks Will about his genius, Will replies: “Mozart looked at a piano, and it just made sense to him. He could just play.” He makes a comparison between Mozart and himself, implying that Mozart is naturally talented at playing the piano whereas he is naturally talented at learning about science, physics, and the “boring stuffs.” I found myself in the same boat as Will Hunting when it comes to subjects like computer programming or mathematics, where things make sense to me intuitively while I find it difficult to explain my thought process to the others. Therefore this photo not only does it reveal the backbone of Will Hunting’s erudite character, but it also builds a connection between me and him.

The Will Hunting you are looking at right now is no longer that lost, arrogant young thug who works just to get by, but rather an ambitious individual who constantly strive to succeed and make impact in this world. I am the new Will Hunting; I recognize who I am and what I am capable of, and I shall take what I deserve.

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