Book/ Film Paper
May 3, 2013
The movie "A Beautiful Mind" is a biographical story about the schizophrenic genius, John Forbes Nash Jr., played by Russell Crowe. Based on a true story, the plot details John Nash attending Princeton University and overcoming many obstacles presented to him because of his psychological disorder and is eventually issued the Nobel prize for his excellence in economics. While it would be absurd to question the intelligence of this man, his mind allows for too much imagination and too many altered thoughts. Although his mental capacity might be brilliant, his intelligence must be defined through the mind of his schizophrenic personality. While studying at Princeton University, John Nash struggles to establish his legacy in the world of mathematics. Eventually, John Nash revolutionizes a theory that earns him the Nobel Prize. John Nash then falls in love with one of his students, Alicia, while teaching at Princeton after graduation. Once he is married, the government requests John Nash to help break secret Soviet codes, which lands him in the center of a conspiracy plot. Since he believes that he is working for the government, John Nash is very secretive and protective of his work, causing his wife to become more and more suspicious. Eventually, his secret is uncovered and changes his entire life as he knows it. Through the loving devotion of his wife, he eventually learns to recover from his illness and once again be recognized as the mathematical genius that has impacted society so greatly today. This hallucination of Ed Harris is the key factor in Nash's delusional thinking. He has delusions of being a secret government aide that is helping the U.S. find bombs throughout the country that were placed here by the Russians. Nash hallucinates that Ed Harris places a device inside his arm that allows him to see a code under a ultra-violet light. This device allows Nash to gain entrance to a secret location where he is to leave the cracked codes. In reality this secret location is an abandoned, dilapidated mansion, and the key- pad that Nash types his code into no longer functions. Nash's code breaking abilities are partly made possible by his hallucinations. The codes pop out of the paper to him and everything makes sense. Even though the codes are imaginary since there was no secret- code- breaking- project underway, Nash figures out mathematical formulas and actually modifies a theory that had been accepted in its field. He says that he can't do his work without the hallucinations.
One scene that will remain in my mind forever and the best example of the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia is a scene where John Nash is shown holding his infant son while the baby is crying and Nash shows absolutely no sign of emotion at all. This is just one example, although a loss of feeling is one of the most predominate negative symptoms. Nash's flat affect is seen through out the film in many instances but that scene that shows him holding the baby shows. My responses to A Beautiful Mind varied greatly. Initially, I thought about how intelligent the main character must be. I felt sorry for John Nash, whose feelings of loneliness, sadness and depression prevailed as he struggled to find a focus for his project and a place in the student social hierarchy. I frequently wondered what his connections to home were; without them and with lack of family support, he became socially awkward. I was amused by his interactions with women. His bluntness in asking for sexual favours and his responses to their reactions was intriguing and disorganized. I became happy for him when he…