Densing, Jessica T.BSN 3 - Leininger
: A R
"A Beautiful Mind" relates the story of John Forbes Nash, Jr., a gifted mathematicianwho overcomes the inner conflict of schizophrenia to achieve the prestigious Nobel Prize. It isa story of tremendous sadness and confusion, as one watches Nash and those dear to himcome to terms with his mental illness.The story opens in the late 1940's at a reception for incoming students at the prestigious Princeton University. John Nash has arrived on a Princeton fellowship, much tothe amusement of his fellow classmates. Here, he awkwardly attempts to socialize, but soonrealizes that he is of a different mindset. He is more aloof and shy than the others and wouldrather skip class to pursue his one unique idea. That one, unique idea happens to be his theoryof "Non-cooperative Games." And it is this theory that helps him achieve a Sloan sabbatical,work at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, a teaching position at MIT, andeventually, the Nobel Prize in mathematics. He is uncomfortable in dealing with people.Asked by his roommate Charles why he doesn't have any friends, Nash responds: "I don'tmuch like people and they don't much like me." Although seemingly comfortable with hisshyness, it is this quality that makes him both a mysterious and interesting character.Equally mysterious is the character by the name of Parcher. Parcher is a secret agentwho pops in and out of John's life with details of an atomic bomb being kept secretly by theRussians on American soil. To foil the plan, John must crack a variety of codes, detailing thecurrent whereabouts of Russian spies. While working as a teacher at MIT and workingcovertly for the government, Nash discovers true love. Intrigued and unabashed by hisforwardness, a promising young graduate student falls in love with him. Alicia Larde isunaware of the secret life that John keeps. And, after a short courtship, they marry and Alicia becomes pregnant. It is here where John's paranoia begins to settle in. While pregnant, Aliciadiscovers the truth behind John's work. She meets Dr. Rosen, a psychiatrist who overseesJohn's treatment consisting of shots of insulin and shock therapy. However, it is not until later in the film that John actually begins to understand his illness. In perhaps one of the mostcompelling scenes, Dr. Rosen tells John that he cannot reason his problem away because the problem is where his reason comes from. And if not properly treated, it will get worse. Aliciamust then choose to have him committed and lose him forever or stay by his side.Very rarely will a film allow us to observe mental illness from the inside. And "ABeautiful Mind" accomplishes this very well. Throughout the first half of the film, we areintroduced to characters and situations that seem real, yet we learn later as Nash learnshimself that they are creations of his imagination. This dramatic twist in the film changes our perception of everything we've seen and challenges us to translate between what is real andwhat is artificial.On the brink of insanity, it is realistically hard to imagine anyone staying with John for any period of time. Although not a complete vegetable, John struggles to cope with his new-found reality and is determined to put his past to rest. And this is certainly a testament toAlicia's commitment and love for John."A Beautiful Mind" is easy to watch. However, it is more difficult to fully understandafterwards what you have just seen. The film is about a psychotically ill mathematician andthe difficult life he led up until the time he was awarded the Nobel Prize. It is also about howlove can conquer delusions; about how genius and schizophrenia can both exist in the same1
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This movie is a very good reenactment of schizophrenia and the symptoms it causes. The movie creates a very realistic perception for viewers on how the hallucinations of the person can be very real. The movie also shows how this disease can affect everyone around you also. Much stress and responsibility was put on the wife to take care of the patient. This story is very realistic and it shows that this disease can happen to everyone, including geniuses.
The behaviors of John Nash were very diverse depending on environments and situations he faced. At times, John seemed like a very normal and intelligent person while he was breaking codes and studying. At other points when he was having hallucinations, he seemed very paranoid and definitely showed signs of a mental disorder. His speech became more stuttered and his facial expressions were much more dramatic.
His behavior was caused mostly in part of the hallucinations he was having. The hallucinations were very real and serious to him, causing him to panic when he was faced with Parcher especially.
Some of the methods used in the movie to calm schizophrenia are still used today. The doctors gave him pills to take to help reduce the symptoms of the disease like hallucinations and bizarre behaviors. The doctors also administered shock therapy, giving him shots of insulin to force his body to go into shock, causing violent convulsions. John was also forced to learn how to deal with his hallucinations, which was probably the best treatment of all. The other procedures were given to lessen the symptoms of the disease, but learning how to deal with the problem was the most important to living a normal life once again.
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