The Fatherly Mentor: Robin Williams Film Review

The Fatherly Mentor: Robin Williams
An analysis of Robin Williams' Oscar-nominated roles in the films "Dead Poets Society" and "Good Will Hunting."
# 128999 | 2,228 words | 2 sources | APA | 2000 | US
Published on Aug 24, 2010 in Film (Artist) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper provides an analysis of Robin Williams' roles in the films "Dead Poets Society" and "Good Will Hunting." The paper asserts that Williams' most convincing roles that have garnered Oscar recognition have been as the role of the fatherly mentor, as demonstrated in the discussed films. The paper explains that both films reflect the same type of genre - that of troubled youth struggling to find their identities, with the hope for redemption and inner peace by the end of the film. However, the paper adds, each particular movie is distinct in its iconography, realism, formalism, revolutionary humanism, and perseverance of self-consciousness. The paper concludes that the resolution in each film shares the same generic elements within their storylines; however, it is Williams' personification of each character that achieves the qualities of uniqueness in the morals in each film.

From the Paper:

"The genre of the fatherly mentor who teaches the rebellious, troubled youth also has the elements of the classical/experimental buddy-buddy, father/son genre. The ensemble between the two characters starts off very heated, progresses with little elements of openness, and ends with the mentor succeeding at his task of getting the student to open up and learn his lesson. The ritual of this genre is satisfied in Will Hunting because it has a happy ending in that Will decides to drive off to California to see Skylar. Hence, the conception of the convention leaves the viewer satisfied and touches upon the perception of self-consciousness, where the audience will initially feel a little antipathy for Will before Williams' is able to draw out the causes as to why Will behaves the way he does. The film then leads the viewer to progress with sympathy and conclude with hope for Will as he finally chooses to accept Skylar's love. This is only after the viewer is exposed to Will's inconsiderate and selfish behavior when he seems to disregard any sort of compassion for Skylar's affection. However, as Will's back story unravels, there is some sort of understanding about his abused past as a foster child. The denouement brings the moral of the story: acceptance of love and of ourselves. A less obvious theme of the movie that is personified by both Will and Sean is that of materialism and how it impacts our lives. This theme is shaped by the historicity of the time: the 90s and the capitalist consumer culture. The societal ideology that applies to the materialism regards the lower working classes of South Boston. Again, a cold eastern-seaboard setting is integral to communicating the film's themes to the audience, for the messages seem to be taken more seriously when set against the backdrop of a harsh winter or fall setting."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dead Poets Society. Dir: Peter Weir. Perf: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke. 1987
  • Good Will Hunting. Dir: Gus Van Sant. Perf: Robin Willams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck. 1997.

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

The Fatherly Mentor: Robin Williams (2010, August 24) Retrieved December 03, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Fatherly Mentor: Robin Williams" 24 August 2010. Web. 03 December. 2023. <>