GOOD WILL HUNTING-the beauty of an original screenplay

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GOOD WILL HUNTING-the beauty of an original screenplay by Mind Map: GOOD WILL HUNTING-the beauty of an original screenplay

1. What is an original screenplay?

1.1. The significance and influence

1.1.1. In an era of remakes, where movies inspired by books, comics, older movies are dominating cinema, general audience rarely experiences a movie such as "Good Will Hunting" wherein the content is original. Adapted screenplay is often disapproved by fans of the original content, as the adaptations can sometimes fall short of expectaions. It makes it easy to spot inconsistencies, which often results in low ratings and/or bad critical reception.

1.1.2. Movies with original screenplay encourage young creators who wish to create scenarios and fictional universes to be made straight into film and encourages them to pursue that passion.

1.1.3. An orginal screenplay allows the audience to experience suspense, plot twists, and character development, without having any prior exposure to the plot. It also gives the script writers more creative control, as they can make changes without having a previous storyline that they are required to follow

1.2. The influence

1.2.1. On the flip side of the idea that an adaptation may cause disappointment, with an original screenplay, the creators start from scratch. The audience has no prior exposure to any of its content, which makes it difficult to guarantee whether or not people will be willing to watch it. Due to this, original screenplays do not garner a lot of attention, making it hard to earn revenue. However, the lineup for nominees at the 2018 Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay attracted new audience and admirers, as blockbuster movies like Jordan Peele's "Get Out", Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird", etc were nominated. This was a big step for Original screenplay, as it proved that such movies have great potential, and are capable of performing well at the Box Office.

1.3. An original screenplay is one that is created solely from the writer’s own original work without adapting from a secondary source such as a previously existing book, movie, show, etc

2. The movie

2.1. The plot

2.1.1. The story follows the protagonist Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT. Whilst solving a complex math equation, he is caught by a professor who encourages him to work at high tech companies. High self-conflict issues lead him to get in trouble with law enforcement and is forced to go to mandatory therapy sessions. After many trails with multiple therapists, he finally ends up with Sean Maguire. Despite getting off to a rocky start, they form a strong bond and Will learns how to open up to someone and show vulnerability. Sean helps him deal with unresolved trauma, and teaches him how to deal with conflict in a beneficial way. Conflicts Person vs. person- This conflict is the main issue Will has. He is constantly argumentative and aggressive and has ego issues with most therapists. Person vs. society- Will’s brash actions and willingness to confront conflict leads him to get into trouble with law enforcement as he resorts to petty crimes and fights to release built-up anger. Person vs. Self- This is the most prominent conflict in this story. Will is at a constant battle with his own feelings and has trouble coming to terms with the trauma he has faced in the past. His refusal to deal with these unresolved and unacknowledged emotions leads to his bad attitude towards authority and those who attempt to help him.

2.2. The genre

2.2.1. The movie has a serious tone and subject matter, and the consistent use of humor alongside that categorize it as a dramatic comedy.

2.2.2. The story being about a young protagonist overcoming personal struggles and learning how to handle his own emotions, also puts it under the "coming of age" category, which tends to target a younger audience.

2.3. The setting

2.3.1. "Good Will Hunting" is set in Boston in 1997, Massachusetts, which is the hometown of screenwriters, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

2.3.2. Despite the movie being set in Boston, the majority of the indoor shots showing MIT and Harvard University were actually shot at the University of Toronto's St. George campus.

2.4. The mood

2.4.1. The movie is about growth and healing, so despite the discussion pf serious matters in the storyline, the mood is not necessarily melancholy, and more so emphasizes perseverence.

2.5. The message

2.5.1. In my opinion, the main message that stands out, is that engaging in our own life and facing your own fears and emotions is vital in order to form personal connections with others and grow to become a better person. This idea of engagements, and getting ahead of yourself is summed up well in this quote by Sean in the movie during a therapy session with will: "If I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written... But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites... But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me... But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable."

2.6. The characters

2.6.1. Will Hunting The protagonist:Will is a young janitor, who is exceptionally intelligents, but has a knack for acting out and getting into trouble with authority. He has a cocky and agressive attitude towards people who try to help him, which stems from past trauma he experienced as a child.

2.6.2. Dr. Sean Maguire Will's Therapist: Sean is a therapist and Psychology professor at Bunker Hill Community College. He is the first therapist to not "give up" on Will after one session, as he shares his own story about meeting his wife and how she passed away from cancer, encouraging him to open up. He also does not let Will's harsh and agressive exterior attitude phase him.

2.6.3. supporting characters Professor Gerald Lambeau: A professor at MIT who discovers that Will solved an extremely difficult problem he had left on a blackboard. He sees the potential in Will, so he saves him from jail time under the condition that he will study mathematics and attend regular therapy sessions. Chuckie Sullivan: Chuckie is Will's best friend. He encourages him to take on the opportunities he revieves in life, and take advantage of his own potential. Skylar: A Harvard graduate, working to go to medical school at Stanford; Will's love interest .

3. The personal connection

3.1. The mental health stigma

3.1.1. In this case, the movie focuses on more of the internalized stigma against therapy. Will's unwillingness to not only get professional help, but also communicating with his friends, is something that is common amongst many people I personally know. Most people, admittedly including me, are not fond of the idea of therapy for a multitude of reasons: The stereotype accociated with a teenager consulting a therapist is that it insinuates that the person is troublesome or a "freak". Therapy and mental disorders have a negative connotation in many cultures, so normalization of it in media helps normalize it in real life. However, that stigma surrounding it tends to be significantly discouraging. Majority of the people who have issues with therapy are in the same boat as Will; they tend to internalize emotions and supress trauma, often preventing themselves from forming healthy emotional relationships as well.

3.2. Representation and relatability

3.2.1. The movie does a great job at representing what it is like to be young while a mental illness. Although I am a few years younger than the protagonist, I found myself relating to a lot of what he was going through emotionally. Despite me being the polar opposite of Will in many aspects, his tendency to overreact as his emotions take over, and how childhood trauma has an impact on his life even after years pass, are things that I can relate to. Even if someone may not have had similar experiences as Will, Matt Damon's performance is exceptional in terms of conveying emotions, making it easy to empathize with the character.

3.3. The importance of human connections

3.3.1. As a person who has had negative mental health experiences, the one thing that always helps me stay grounded is personal connections. Talking to my family, friends, a counselor, etc, are helpful when one wants to let out their emotions, and prevents bursts of anger and/or sadness. "Good Will Hunting" shows what it is like to be someone who is not only going through a bad time, but also has difficulty opening up to people, which is not a topic that is discussed very often in media, especially not in the 90s.

3.4. I chose this movie out of the three we watched for as I personally enjoyed watching it the most. The setting and mood induced a feeling of familiarity and was aethetically pleasing. The main characters were dynamic and relatable, and the manner in which mental health was adressed and dealt with was admirable. I also generally lean towards dramatic film and coming of age movies, and the movie fits both in one way or another.