Director: Gus Van Sant
Writers: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
Released: December 1997
Starring: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck and Minnie Driver
This film is fantastic because it achieves thought provoking material without loosing the audience in a deep, meaningful and philosophical black hole. The film is able to do this by keeping the humour, which seems loyal to the culture that the story is based around.
Chuckie (Ben Affleck): You’re sitting on a winning lottery ticket, but too much of a pussy to cash it in
I love these kinds of films. The protagonist, Will (Matt Damon), at face value is a screwed up kid worthy of little sympathy. Yet, his mathematical intelligence is beyond compare, even though he refuses to acknowledge it. Through countless councillors, he finally finds somebody Sean (Robin Williams) who can do more than scratch the surface of his dark past.
Sean: [during a therapy session] You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.
The only way you could tell this film was made on a tighter budget was the repeated songs and the slightly over and under-exposed shots. However, depending on the experience and reputation of the director, this will either be classed as a ‘mistake’ or as ‘art’.
The movie is perfectly cast. Their performances are so totally real and credible that you become immune to the repetitive swearing, which stutters the overall flow of the film until you get to know the characters. I also have a new found respect for Affleck and Damon who wrote the script. Incredible.
This film will either leave you contented with life and excited about your prospects for the future, or, leave you feeling hopeless that you don’t have an obvious talent that could give you a secure future.
But for the most part, you will realise that the script is about how, despite society’s expectations and despite everybody having baggage and fears, everyone has a choice to start again, if only they have the courage to do so. Also, despite all of this we all have the same shot of achieving happiness.
A tremendous film that you can really read into. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters telling their stories too.
Jodie’s rating: 8/10