A beautiful mind is a excellent movie that every human being must see at least once during their lifetime. I watched the movie in 2003 and many times thereafter. Each time I’ve viewed the movie it has given me a entirely different perspective about Schizophrenia. Over the course of my 48 years on this earth I’ve had been privy to meeting several folks with mental health issues.
In the African American community mental health is a taboo topic along with a myriad of health subjects. I am not certain why? Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects approximately 2.5 million Americans and more than 24 million people worldwide. Studies show that schizophrenia may be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that causes messages in the brain to get mixed up. Scientists believe that schizophrenia, like many other conditions, may result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Schizophrenia symptoms* are typically separated into 2 categories:
Positive symptoms: Extra feelings or behaviors that are usually not present, such as:
- Believing that what other people are saying is not true (delusions)
- Hearing, seeing, tasting, feeling, or smelling things that others do not experience (hallucinations)
- Disorganized speech and behavior
Negative symptoms: A lack of behaviors or feelings that usually are present,such as:
- Losing interest in everyday activities, like bathing, grooming, or getting dressed
- Feeling out of touch with other people, family, or friends
- Lack of feeling or emotion (apathy)
- Having little emotion or inappropriate feelings in certain situations
- Having less ability to experience pleasure
Schizophrenia affects different people differently and symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people may have many symptoms, while others may only have a few.
Men diagnosed with schizophrenia usually start to show symptoms between their late teens and early 20′s. Women usually develop symptoms during their mid-20′s to early 30′s.
*Please discuss your symptoms with your healthcare professional. Your healthcare professional will review your symptoms and may consult the established guidelines, which are available in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, where applicable.
John Nash (Russell Crowe) starts at Princeton University in 1947. There on the Carnegie Scholarship for mathematics, he is definitely the odd one out. He has difficulty making friends, and does not start on a good foot with his classmates. Martin Hansen (Josh Lucas) and he have a terrible rivalry due to both being there on the same scholarship. He sort of befriends a group of bright science and math graduates – Ainsley (Jason Gray-Stanford), Bender (Anthony Rapp) and Richard Sol (Adam Goldberg). His most unlikely friendship however is with his roommate, Charles Herman (Paul Bettany), who is a little bit of a crazy literature student.
Nash is faced with extreme pressure to come up with something brilliant, something amazing and make his way in life from there. He will not write any paper and be published, though. It has to be original, it has to be fresh and defining – it has to be the one. A random idea strikes him while listening to his friends talk, and freshly defines governing dynamics. Due to his latest breakthrough, Nash is offered a job at MIT, and he chooses Sol and Bender to join him.
“Man is capable of as much atrocity as he has imagination.” – William Parcher
Nash has risen in esteem, though he seems not to be the most patient or gifted teacher. He does some work at the Pentagon where he has to crack a code, and shocks codebreakers when he deciphers the code mentally. Feeling his talents are lost at MIT, he jumps at the opportunity that William Parcher (Ed Harris) gives him. It is a top secret assignment that is perfect for Nash. He has to crack codes from magazines and newspapers for the United States Department of Defence to foil a Soviet plan. His discoveries are to be delivered to a secret mailbox.
Nash falls in love with his student, Alicia Larde (Jennifer Connelly) after she makes all the relevant moods. Now Nash has a family, and this complicated the work he is doing for the government. Nash meets up with his best friend, Charles, and is introduced to Charles’ niece, Marcee (Vivien Cardone). They get along famously. Soon Nash marries Alicia and she becomes pregnant, and their lives begin. However, the work with Parcher gets out of hand, and Nash seriously needs to rethink how things will work, and tries to get out of the business, though Parcher will not let him go. All the strings come loose at a guest lecture at Harvard University when Nash tries to run from Dr. Rosen (Christopher Plummer), whom he believes is a Soviet agent. Nash is taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.
Soon it becomes evident that Nash is a schizophrenic, and that Charles, Marcee and Parcher are figments of his imagination. Alicia will not accept that her husband is a lunatic, and investigates. Her, Sol and Bender establish that Nash really is losing his mind, and that so much that he believes is real is actually not. Nash undergoes numerous types of therapy to “fix” him, and is eventually released. Alicia and Nash try to piece their lives together, but Nash is embittered about the pills that he needs to take. They affect his mind – he cannot do mathematics anymore, and he cannot be with his wife or care for his child.
“I’ve made the most important discovery of my life. It’s only in the mysterious equation of love that any logic or reasons can be found. I’m only here tonight because of you. You are the only reason I am… you are all my reasons.” – John NashHow will the couple overcome the difficulties of Nash’s disease if he refuses to take the pills and acknowledge there is a problem? Nash cannot live a life without mathematics, and is taking the blow terribly hard of not being able to be the promising genius he was supposed to be. His friends and wife stand by him, and are all desperate to help him by and make things right. Martin Hansen becomes incredibly important to Nash’s recovery or acknowledgement of the issue. Will Nash ever be the genius, ever be respected for the evidently phenomenal mind that he has? Will he even be able to be the mathematical prodigal again and be honoured for it?
After an incident where Nash endangers his infant son and accidentally knocks Alicia and the baby to the ground (thinking he’s stopping Parcher from killing her), she flees the house in fear with their child. Nash steps in front of her car to prevent her from leaving. He tells Alicia, “She never gets old”, referring to Marcee, who although years have passed since their first encounter, has remained exactly the same age and is still a little girl. With this, he finally accepts that although all three people seem real, they are in fact part of his hallucinations. Against Dr. Rosen’s advice, Nash decides not to restart his medication, believing that he can deal with his symptoms in another way. Alicia decides to stay and support him in this.
Nash approaches his old friend and rival, Martin Hansen, now head of the Princeton mathematics department, who grants him permission to work out of the library and audit classes. Years pass and as Nash grows older he learns to ignore his hallucinations. Eventually he earns the privilege of teaching again.
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva Goldsman. It was inspired by a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-nominated 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar. The film stars Russell Crowe, along with Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, and Christopher Plummer in supporting roles. The story begins in the early years of a young prodigy named John Nash. Early in the film, Nash begins to develop paranoid schizophrenia and enduresdelusional episodes while painfully watching the loss and burden his condition brings on his wife and friends.
The film opened in the United States cinemas on December 21, 2001. It went to gross over $313 million worldwide and to win fourAcademy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. It was also nominated forBest Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, and Best Original Score.
It was well received by critics, but has been criticized for its inaccurate portrayal of some aspects of Nash’s life, especially his other family and a son born out of wedlock. However, the filmmakers have stated that the film was not meant to be a literal representation.