academic writing help

Abnormal Psychology Movie Character Analysis

It is often said that art imitates life and that is the case with most movies that ever appear at your local cinema. Many feature films or movies portray characters who are displaying abnormal psychological behaviors that are caused by their circumstances. The character analysis of those portraying these abnormalities can both shed the light of awareness on an affliction and at the same time promote stereotypes that might not necessarily be true. It is up to the combined efforts of the writers, actors and directors to dictate the dignity and honesty in which a character portrays an abnormal psychology affliction.

Good Will Hunting

This was a movie about a youth that has a psychological disassociation caused by a lot of abuse in his youth. This movie character had a rare gift for mathematics that allowed him to solve very difficult equations at Harvard where he worked as a janitor. The treatment of his abnormal psychological predicament was the plot of the movie and in the end. He left his Boston home and headed to California. Whether this psychological problem was displayed in a positive or negative manner is up to the eye of the beholder. Matt Damon’s portrayal of Will Hunting was epic and he showed the conflict that is going to exist when a child is habitually abused, but he also let viewers know that there was hope for the future. This is an example of a Hollywood portrayal of mental illness that did not misrepresent a disease.

Anxiety Disorders

There are many motion pictures that depict many different anxiety disorders. Most of them have to do with casualties of war where the person who fought in the war had a difficult time moving back into society. Movies like First Blood, show the devastating results that not understanding the trauma can have. This movie was a negative to display anxiety disorders as it made the audience feel like any person suffering from an anxiety disorder will get violent and dangerous to people in general. This is not an accurate depiction of the typical behavior of someone suffering with anxiety disorder. Hollywood in this case generalized the experience of the returning war veteran. Probably this was done to make a political point rather than to create a realistic portrayal.


Hollywood has continually portrayed a wide array of abnormal psychological conditions in a large number of movies. The depiction of a disease of any kind can’t be taken too seriously as the facts of a disease can be manipulated to make a statement or for dramatic effect. If the abnormal psychological problem is portrayed realistically it can further the awareness of the disease.