Sometimes our past can cause pain that doesn’t allow us to trust others. People we trust can cause us to put up a wall and look to other things for comfort. In the movie, Will Hunting found his comfort in books. Will Hunting needed a real friendship to help him open up his mind in order to discover that there is more to life than living through the books he reads. In the movie, there are four main characters, each different in many ways, that form individual friendships in the movie.
One of the characters, Will Hunting works as a janitor at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a foster child and is living life through his experience in books and lacks real life knowledge. This is holding him back from becoming intimate with anyone. While working there he sometimes writes on the school’s math department blackboard and is soon discovered as a genius. Will gets caught fighting and is arrested and in leau of incarceration is put under the supervision of Gerald Lambeau, who attended and is now a professor at MIT.
Under his supervision, per court order he must see a therapist and stay out of any trouble. Sean Maguire is a professor at a local community college and also grew up in the same town as Will and went to MIT.
He is Will’s therapist and in the sessions challenges him to open up and stop living life through a book. A friendship develops and Sean tries to guide him to break his fear of intimacy. Chuckie Sullivan is a character in the movie that Will refers to as his brother. Chuckie is a nice guy with an aggressive attitude from being brought up in the rough side of Southie, Boston. Then there is a girl named Skylar, cute with a British accent and goes to Harvard University. She gets involved with Will Hunting and soon asks him to move with her to California where she will be attending at Stanford’s medical school program. Unfortunately, fear of intimacy prevents him from forming a relationship with her and breaks this friendship apart. Eventually, Will starts to see his true friendships with Chuckie, Sean and Skylar and starts to open up.
He begins to trust others and takes a risk at experiencing life first hand outside the covers of a book. Will Hunting came from poverty, raised as a foster child in Southie. He didn’t trust people because he always looked at every angle of the relationship and assumed that in the end they wouldn’t be there for him. Professor Gerald Lambeau, who took pride in himself because of a Field Medals award which granted him public status, comes around to try to build a friendship with Will. Will soon realizes that Gerald is using him to gain social status, public recognition and to solve his difficult math problems. He then ends his relationship with Gerald because of his intensions. Then Sean, seeing what his former classmate, Gerald, was up to, soon becomes more than just Will’s therapist. Sean becomes a friend and tries to prevent Will from taking the same path as Gerald by only wanting social recognition.
As Will’s Friend, Sean didn’t want him to fail. He wanted Will to succeed in life and take a chance and not just live it through a book. The doctor-patient relationship soon becomes a very close friendship. Towards the end of the movie Will leaves a note for Sean, “I had to see about a girl,” this was a quote from Sean’s story of his courtship with his wife. This lets Sean know he had decided to take a chance on life and to attempt to form a lasting relationship with someone he could trust. Will’s “brother” Chuckie, who is really Will’s best friend, also wanted him to succeed in life. He tries to encourage Will to take a chance in living a real life and tells Will, “You know what the best part of my day is? It’s for about ten seconds when I pull up to the curb to when I get to your door.
Because I think maybe I’ll get up there and I’ll knock on the door and you won’t be there. No goodbye, no see you later, no nothing. Just left. I don’t know much, but I know that.” Will then sees that Chuckie might have a point and takes his friend’s advice. A few people come into Will’s life, some for real friendships and some just to gain public status. After discovering his true friendships, Will begins to enjoy their company and wants them in his life. He begins to build relationships he can count on. He is willing to take a chance and succeed in life and relationships, no longer needing books to fulfill this for him. He finally decides to trust and to look at the positive things life has to offer. On his 21st birthday, with the car, Chuckie and his other friends gave him, he packs up to head to California to pursue life. In the end, Will finds true friendships and decides to live his life outside of just a book.
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