Film and Plot Synopsis
The most brilliant mind at America’s top university isn’t a student, he’s the kid who cleans the floors. Will Hunting is a headstrong, working-class genius who is failing the lessons of life. After one too many run-ins with the law, Will’s last chance is a psychology professor, who might be the only man who can reach him. Finally forced to deal with his past, Will discovers that the only one holding him back is himself.
‘Good Will Hunting’ Movie Summary
Across town at the MIT campus, Fields Medal-winning Uber-math Professor Gerald Lambeau is teaching an advanced techno math to an eager audience. He posts an advanced theorem on the hall blackboard and challenges his students to solve it by the end of the semester. Later that night, we see Will is writing on the chalkboard and seems to know what he is writing.
The next day at an MIT reunion for alums, Lambeau realizes someone has solved the theorem overnight but nobody claims the honors. Lambeau challenges the class again with a more difficult theorem that took the professors two years to prove.
That night, Will is again working on the chalkboard when Lambeau sees him and chases him off for vandalism before he realizes Will’s solved the impossible equation. Later that night, Will and his three buddies go drinking at a Harvard bar where they are outclassed by the students there.
Chuckie approaches two Harvard girls and is immediately challenged by a Harvard bully who starts embarrassing Chuckie with obscure intellectual references before Will jumps in and quotes much more impressive references everyone in the bar stops to listen.
Then Will challenges the bully to a fight when the bully backs down. An hour later, we see one of the two girls, Harvard princess Skylar, approaches Will and asks him to call her. The next day, Will and his buddies get into a street fight with some hooligans and Will is put in jail for hitting a cop.
Will goes before a judge and quotes several obscure laws before the judge as Lambeau watches from the audience as the unimpressed judge throws Will into jail. While in jail, Will calls Skylar with his one phone call and asks humorously if she is pre-law. In chains, Will is approached by Lambeau to make a deal for early release into his care: 1) do advanced math with Lambeau at MIT and 2) get counseling. Will agrees to the math but hates counselors. Lambeau sets up five different psychiatrists and Will makes a fool out of all of them.
Then Lambeau meets his old college roommate from South Boston, a burn-out community college psych professor named Sean. Sean agrees to meet Will and at the meeting, we realize Sean isn’t as burned out as we thought. Within 5 mins, Will insults the memory of Sean’s late wife and Sean nearly strangles Will in the office. Despite this, Sean agrees to meet with Will ongoing.
Will and Skylar start heating up their relationship and we can see there is genuine chemistry between them. Despite their vastly different wealth and backgrounds, they are an even match. Sean blasts Will in their first session for disrespecting his dead wife and for being an arrogant know-it-all without any life skills outside Boston – and he’s right. Will let’s down his guard only long enough to start trusting Sean a little.
Will does Lambeau’s math and is smarter than the genius professor almost immediately, and Lambeau starts setting up job interviews for Will, against Will’s wishes. Will’s buddies go out with he and Skylar and they realize Will is lying to Skylar about his very dark past and his being an orphan. Will and Sean make headway as Lambeau grows jealous of Will’s apparent disregard for his stupendous gift.
When Skylar asks Will if he has a photographic memory, Will disregards the question and tells her he just figures stuff out without much effort. That night, Skylar tells Will she wants him to come with her to Stanford where she will be attending medical school, Will gets scared of the attachment and blows her off, ending their relationship and breaks her heart.
The next day, Sean and Lambeau have a meeting of the minds and we realize they have some pent up hostility toward their pasts and they fight over Will’s future with Lambeau wanting mathematics stardom for himself and Will and Sean just wanting Will to heal. Will is working in the brickyard with Chuckie when Chuckie says he hopes Will gets out of their hellhole and onto a better life.
When Will tells Chuckie he intends to stay in South Boston w his buddies for the rest of their lives, Chuckie tells him to quit being a chicken and to use his brain to have a better life, basically challenging Will to stop being a screwup and start being responsible. Chuckie tells him his dream of one day showing up at Will’s house and Will wouldn’t be there because he’d finally done something great with his life.
When Skylar leaves for California, Will goes to Sean’s office where he witnesses Sean and Lambeau angrily arguing about Will’s future. Will realizes Sean has his back. When Lambeau leaves, Sean and Will have a genuine heart-to-heart about Will’s childhood terrifying physical abuses and realizes Sean was also terribly abused as a child. Sean finally breaks through Will’s walls and Will breaks down crying, knowing everything can be okay. Chuckie and his buddies give Will his first car as a 21st birthday gift. It’s ugly but we can tell it took everything these boys had to give this special gift. Will meets again with Sean and tells him he is taking one of the prestigious jobs Lambeau set up for him. They say goodbye.
The next morning, Chuckie and the boys drive by Will’s and realize that Will has finally vacated and is moving on with his life. All the boys smile at this revelation. As Will drives his birthday car out of town, we see him stop outside Sean’s apartment. Sean doesn’t see Will put a note in the mailbox until Will drives off. In the note, Will states he is headed to California to see about being with Skylar.
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