I wish I were a genius or had some kind of incredible gift—not really a super-power, but more along the lines of Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting; or Damon’s character in the Bourne series; or Jamal in Finding Forrester (which Damon also makes an appearance in…that guy likes being in movies with unusually gifted characters). It just seems like it would be so cool to be able to see things that no one else can see; understand everything in the blink of an eye; have a photographic memory; be able to mold and manipulate language into anything you wish it to be—and be extremely gifted athletically (like Jason Bourne or Jamal in Finding Forrester).
Before we go any further (not “farther”), here is one of my favorite scenes, taken from Finding Forrester: “You should’ve said, ‘Further.'”
And let’s continue….
I just recently re-watched Good Will Hunting so let’s use Good, little Will Hunting as an example. (I and, as we shall see later, the pompous jerk from the bar scene, enjoy the play on words that the title of the movie provides.) Will can not only memorize huge textbooks and works of literature as if they were a short grocery list, but he can thoroughly and completely understand it at the highest level. He can solve any mathematical proof or problem as if they were grade-school chalkboard problems. For him, it’s all as easy as breathing.
To be able to understand anything you can ever encounter as easily as it is for anyone to breathe…that would be awesome. Think of all the stuff you could do. You can do anything you want. If you have gaudy, insane, super-fantastical balling skills, what more can you do than make millions and millions playing ball and selling shoes? If you’re Will Hunting, you can unlock the secrets of time travel, find a cure for cancer, write a great American novel or two, and do whatever the hell else you want.
But one thing that no amount of genius can do is help one understand people. In fact, there’s a substantial amount of evidence that says genius makes it much harder. People can be more complex than the highest form of mathematics or the most difficult passage of text (which I’ve heard would be something like James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake). In fact, I think the genius of someone like Will Hunting would make understanding people more difficult in some ways. But I would still love to experience that struggle.
And if people are that difficult, think of the beautiful complexity that the struggle to find and know God (or whatever Truth or Reality is) would be like in a genius’ mind.
Man…I wish I were a genius.
The Bar Scene, Round 2:
Song of the Day:
Elliott Smith – “Miss Misery”
The rest of this entry is for only if you feel like you just haven’t had enough time-wasting and want to just keep on wasting it away.
Here are some other memorable scenes:
“You’re just a kid.”
“I don’t know much but I know that.”— complete with subtitles for all my Chinese readers out there.
And one of my personal favorites, “club a baby seal”
Also, the original bar scene with the “apples” bit included at the end, with the audio/video out of sync (just skip to the 5 minute mark): “Do you like apples?”
And this is an excellent re-cut that uses all real clips from the movie to create the enticing trailer for…”Good Will HUNTED!”:
Good Will Hunted
What clinched it for me was poor little Will Hunting bawling for his life at the end.