Good Will Hunting
Frank Orama ENC 1102 Prof. Goodwin 7/8/2011 Good Will Hunting Good Will Hunting is a story of a young man’s journey to find his place in the world by finding out who he really is. Matt Damon plays a troubled genius with a great awareness to other peoples feelings and thoughts.
The movie is an adventure through the mind of Will Hunting, as he has to go through therapy instead of ending up in jail. Robin Williams. Who plays Will Hunting’s psychologist, helps Will discover himself and realize his place and value to the world by understanding what matters most to him.The director, Gus Van Sant uses many different features to induce emotion and empathy. These features include using different colors, angles/shots, and camera movement. Color is the most obvious element used throughout Good Will Hunting. Throughout most of the movie, very natural colors are used.
The use of warm ambers is a way to create a sense of humanity and also a strong sense of empathy for Will. Will feels comfortable whenever he is in a place where the colors are warm and inviting. For example, when he is in Skylar’s dorm room at Harvard, or in Sean’s office, or his apartment, the color that is mostly present is amber.This creates a sense of warmth and the viewer notices Will doesn’t hide behind his invisible wall. He is being himself because he feels safe in these warm places. Whenever Will is not being himself and has his wall up, the viewer can notice the shift in colors. These colors are cold colors, which include colors such as blue and white.
The change to the cold colors creates a sense of helplessness and nervousness in Will. An example of this would be Will’s first meeting with the psychologist Sean. Will is looking at the painting hung on the window and as he looks at it, he ties in with Sean’s life.As he moves closer to the painting, the room gets a little lighter, until you can see the fear in Will’s face. This creates a shift in mood within the shot. The lightness or coldness of the seen creates an understanding from the viewers point of how Will acts up when he is in a situation he does not feel comfortable in. Another important element in Good Will Hunting would have to be the angles and shots created by the director, Van Sant.
One example is the scene when Sean is in his apartment after his first meeting with Will. Sean sits in his dirty apartment with dishes all over the place, and Sean is drinking at the table.He uses a high angle shot, and makes Sean the least important part of the shot while making the glass of liquor the dominant part of the shot. This shot gives the viewer the sense that Sean is letting alcohol control his life. Another example is the scene with Will and Sean at the pond. Sean is talking and throughout almost the entire scene the only shot is an eye-level close up on Sean. When Sean starts talking about love the shot slowly pans out to include Will in the eye-level shot.
This makes the viewer believe that the words Sean is speaking are starting to make sense to Will.Throughout the movie Will and Sean are never seen in the frame together, until the end when Will has his breakdown. The shots going from not showing them together to having them together in the same frame shows the progress in their relationship. The manipulation of the shots creates the feeling of coming together. When looking at a film, you can assume that everything was done on purpose and for a reason. Another element Van Sant uses is camera movement. As the movie beings, Will is in his apartment reading.
The camera shot pulls away showing Will with all his books.The makes the viewer think that Will is lonely and only has his books to accompany him. During the fight scene, Van Sant uses a bird’s eye view to show unity between friends, and how they look out for one another. Throughout some scenes such as when Will was in Skylar’s dorm room, Van Sant appears to use a hand held camera. The use of a hand held camera causes a sense of closeness; it feels like the viewer is in the room intruding on their privacy. Van Sant does an exceptional job in directing Good Will Hunting. His use of many different and creative techniques help the viewers get through the movie.