More Than Just a Brilliant Movie

If someone were to ask me what I think is the most intellectually-stimulating, the most fulfilling, and the most inspirational movie I’ve ever watched, I’d say Good Will Hunting. I can’t even begin to describe just how incredibly brilliant the movie is. I mean, to me, it’s MORE than just a movie. It’s life. And the first time I watched it was about 5-6 years ago, when I was still in undergrad; and it just opened my mind to the realities that exist in both the academic and non-academic world.

Just a few years ago, I used to believe that having a university degree automatically equalled to intelligence. But I was wrong. So. Very. Wrong. Just because one has a university degree — be it a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or even an MD/PhD — does not necessarily mean that that person is an intellectual. Similarly, a person need not have a degree at all, but s/he may be the most intelligent and the most knowledgeable person that’s ever walked the face of the earth. And I have personally met, and KNOW people like that. People who are way brilliant than any “schooled” person I’ve ever met.

However, don’t get me wrong, for I am a very, very strong advocate when it comes to education; especially further education. Heck, I am working towards a PhD myself! But, I am not doing it to show, or even prove to the world, that I am an intellectual or that I am “smarter” than someone who only has a Bachelor’s degree or no degree at all. No, that is not and never will be my main reason for further education. I am not competing with anyone, but myself.  And I am my own motivator.

I want to pursue my doctorate because I have a passion for academia. I want to contribute something significant to the Pakhtun Diaspora, which, sadly-speaking, consists only a handful of women who are active in the academic world. I rarely meet Pakhtun women who are intellectuals, if any, at all. And it is my desire and passion to break that cycle, by helping in any way I can to contribute towards the betterment of my Pakhtuns. I want to do research and devote my life to Pakhtuns. And the only way I can do that successfully is if I attain my doctorate. And I very much look forward to that day. But, until then, I will do whatever I can now to attain that goal, whether it is through my writings or my art.

Anyway, sorry for digressing there for a bit; but, yeah, so, as I was saying, I was very lucky to catch Good Will Hunting on HBO last night; and, of course, I am the type of person who’d watch a movie over and over again, especially a movie that’s as incredible as this. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve watched this movie. I mean, seriously. I can’t get enough of it! And the dialogue in this movie is just…WOW. I love every single scene and every single dialogue in this movie.  I mean there are so many brilliant quotes in this movie that it urges me to grab the remote control and jack up the volume, just so that I can ingrain those beautiful words in my brain.

I’d like to share some of my personal favourites below. (I got them off of IMDB, Science bless that website!)


Sean: Do you have a soul mate?

Will: Define that.

Sean: Someone you can relate to, someone who opens things up for you.

Will: Sure, I got plenty.

Sean: Well, name them.

Will: Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Frost, O’Conner…

Sean: Well that’s great. They’re all dead.

Will: Not to me, they’re not.

Sean: You can’t have a lot of dialogue with them.

Will: Not without a heater and some serious smelling salts.


Will: Do you play the piano?

Skylar: A bit.

Will: Okay, when you look at a piano you see Mozart, right?

Skylar: I see “Chopsticks.”

Will: Beethoven, okay. He looked at a piano, and it just made sense to him. He could just play.

Skylar: So what are you saying? You play the piano?

Will: No, not a lick. I mean, I look at a piano, I see a bunch of keys, three pedals, and a box of wood. But Beethoven, Mozart, they saw it, they could just play. I couldn’t paint you a picture, I probably can’t hit the ball out of Fenway, and I can’t play the piano.

Skylar: But you can do my o-chem paper in under an hour.

Will: Right. Well, I mean when it came to stuff like that… I could always just play.


Will (telling off a cocky Harvard grad student): See, the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One, don’t do that. And Two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin’ education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late charges at the public library.


Sean: 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.


And the ONE dialogue that is my most absolute favourite in the WHOLE film (and perhaps even the world world) is the one in the park scene, with Will (played by the gorgeous and talented Matt Damon), and his psychologist, Sean, (played by the adorable and very talented Robin Williams):

Sean: Thought about what you said to me the other day. About my painting.

Will: Oh

Sean: Stayed up half the night thinking about it. Something occurred to me. I fell into a deep, peaceful sleep and haven’t thought about you since. You know what occurred to me?

Will: No

Sean: You’re just a kid. You don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about.

Will: Why, thank you.

Sean: It’s all right. You’ve never been out of Boston.

Will: Nope

Sean: So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny… on every art book ever written. Michelangelo? You know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations. Him and the pope. Sexual orientation. The whole works, right? I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seeing that. If I ask you about women, you’ll probably give me a syllabus of your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. 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. I ask you about war, you’d probably ah throw Shakespeare at me, right? “Once more into the breach, dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap… and watched him gasp his last breath lookin’ to you for help. If I asked you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet, but you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes. Feelin’ like God put an angel on Earth just for you, who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her be there forever. Through anything. Through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleepin’ sittin’ up in a hospital room… for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes… that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. I look at you. I don’t see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine. You ripped my fuckin’ life apart. You’re an orphan, right? Do you think that I’d know the first thing about how hard your life has been – how you feel, who you are – because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don’t give a shit about all that, because – You know what? I can’t learn anything from you… I can’t read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t wanna do that, do you sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.

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