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Mistakes in the movie "Good Will Hunting" Mistakes in the movie "Good Will Hunting"
by Joseph Gatt
2019-06-28 07:10:06
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Spoiler alert. Don't read this if you haven't seen the movie and don't want me to spoil the movie.

The story on one foot: Will is a 21 year-old, probably a school drop-out, who works as a janitor at the MIT and lives in South Boston. He has a group of friends he likes to drink and trash talk with. A Fields medal winning math professor posts a math problem in the board, and Will secretly writes down the solution. The math professor is impressed, but no one comes forward to claim they solved the problem. Math professor puts another problem on the board, catches Will solving it, finds out Will is a janitor, finds Will. Will also get into a fight, gets arrested, and his plea bargain is one where he has to see a therapist and help solve math problems. Will meets a shrink, solves math problems, meets girl, mellow, mellow, mellow.

will01_400I did not like the movie. And here are a few mistakes I found in the movie.

-Don't beat up a guy like that. Will hangs out with his buddies, finds a guy who used to beat him up in kindergarten, and seeks revenge by beating up the guy. Will repeatedly punches the guy on the face real hard. In medical terms, those dozen punches would lead to severe internal bleeding, concussions, possibly bones to snap, and will very likely lead to the death of the victim. In the movie, it's not clear what damage the victim suffered.

Unfortunately, under the influence of Hollywood, many people think there's no harm in punching people on the face repeatedly. Don't do that, because if you do, a lot of times the injuries result in death.

-During his trial, the judge claims that Will was acquitted of battery and assault charges in the past by citing 18th century laws. Massachusetts uses a trial by jury system, and it's going to be very hard to convince any jury that you can get away with battery or assault because of an 18th century law that authorizes it.

-If you say “fuck you” to your lawyer, he's probably going to haze you into not doing that.

-The movie is a little sketchy when it comes to shrinks. Most shrinks are not arrogant superstars who write books and can't handle a patient like Will. Most shrinks are trained to handle a patient like Will, and if Will is going to be violent, the shrink will simply ask Will to try to justify his violent behavior. As in “why are you doing this” or “why are you saying this?” Furthermore, shrinks are trained to diagnose behavior disorders, In Will's case, he would have been diagnosed with “intermittent explosive disorder”.

-No shrink would allow his or her patient to reverse roles and allow a patient to psychoanalyze them. If a patient does that, the shrink will usually say “it's not about me, it's about you.”

-The movie seems to hint that Will reads about a page every 10 seconds. No one reads like that. No one. There was this one autistic kid who could scan a page and memorize every single word he came through, although not making sense of the readings. But most people read about 20 pages an hour, even geniuses.

-I won't go into details, but intelligence services monitor book sales and borrowings. If someone seems to be buying or borrowing too many books, they'll check if he or she's reading them. If intelligence agencies figure out you're smart, they'll either hire you and you'll work in their offices, or they'll send you cryptic messages and you'll be sent on a secret mission. So intelligence services probably would not have allowed a guy like Will to work as a janitor.

-In the hypercompetitive world of academia, at the MIT, several people would have claimed credit for the anonymous solution of a problem solved.

-Any MIT professor would have tried to reach a secret deal with Will where Will would solve the problems and they would share credit as co-authors when they publish the solution.

-One of my pet peeves is when movies show violent foster kids and try to explain that the foster kid background is what causes the violence. There are countless movies where a foster kid kills his foster parents, or his family, or his friends or whatever. Or many other movies portray foster kids as sensitive and depressed. Most foster kids are normal kids with normal lives, even when they were abused.

-Finally, most professors don't want to be bothered with gifted students. Actually most professors feel threatened by gifted students. The rare instances where gifted students collaborated with professors were instances where the gifted student had some kind of family relationship with another professor. Actually, a lot of times gifted professors feel threatened by other gifted professors.

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