Movie Review: A Beautiful Mind


Inspired by a true story about the extraordinary life of the Noble prize winner John Nash, the main character of Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind is a mathematical genius, yet, a social misfit. John Nash, played by Russell Crowe, lived a complete fictionalized life where he believed that he was helping the US intelligence fight against a great communist threat.

Director, Ron Howard, created a moving masterpiece, elegantly guiding the audience through John Nash's life, starting with Nash as an intense, introverted youth striving for that perfect original idea; and ending with Nash as a passionate, patient elderly man battling against his inner demons.

Through Howard's skilled hand, and via Russell Crowe's amazingly understated, yet incredibly touching performance, Nash's achievements and flaws are exposed without portraying mental illness in a clichéd cinematic form. Crowe's Nash is an honest, disturbing look at the price paid by people who suffer from schizophrenia, and the toll it takes on families and friends.

A Beautiful Mind portrays the story of mathematical genius John Nash and how his psychological illness led his mental abilities to develop extraordinarily that he could imagine and solve a highly complicated mathematical formula in a blink of an eye. When he joined Princeton University as a bright student with a limitless future ahead of him, he was obsessed with finding a way to prove that he truly matters; he competed with the other students in Princeton's competitive Math Department brutally, all of whom were searching for one truly original idea.

Nash’s mental illness allowed him to see things from an actual different dimension, for instance, inspiration strikes him while he is studying in a local bar surrounded by his rowdy classmates. As they vie for the attention of a stunning blonde, Nash observes their rivalry, and from that, develops his "game theory". Thanks to his illness, Nash was able to develop a theory that contradicts 150 years of accepted theory and earns him a coveted position at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where part of his duty is to teach a course to eager young minds.

Russell Crowe exquisitely captures Nash's passion for his wife, his work, and his unending hunger for excellence. Jennifer Connelly, playing the wife’s role, again proves she is a talented actress capable of conquering characters with depth and emotion in the way she helped her husband through his illness and encouraged him to use the mental abilities he gained as a side effect to excel at his career as a mathematician.

The movie has a way of pushing mental illness into corners. It is powerful, sensational, deep, willful, tragic and inspiring. Here it is simply a disease, which renders life almost, but not quite impossible, for Nash and his wife, before he becomes one of the lucky ones to pull out of the downward spiral and becomes a true legend.

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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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