The 2001 motion picture A Beautiful Mind stars Russell Crowe as the Nobel Prize winning mathematician John Nash, a complicated character who along with his brilliance, was also plagued by a life long struggle with schizophrenia. The film’s narrative plots a path for the audience from times before Nash was aware of his illness through to the point at which he and his wife find a way to manage the condition. In this short essay I intend to explore and examine the ways in which the theme of schizophrenia is treated within A Beautiful Mind, from the symptoms, to the treatment and the minutia of how the illness impacts on the individual and the individual’s family.
The first signs within the narrative that the audience can see John’s illness manifesting is in his increasing inability to communicate his feelings, which takes a toll on his personal relationships and the intimacy that he once enjoyed. The role that his wife takes on during the film can almost be seen as an audience surrogate, with Alicia seeking to help from the outside by seeking treatment and the need for medical definitions of her husband’s problems. From John himself, however, we get to experience a more internal side of the illness, with depictions of hallucinations and delusions along with outward symptoms like awkward facial expressions and slurred, jumbled passages of speech. In showing both the internal and external sides of schizophrenia through the experiences of both Alicia and John, the film brings a pleasing sense of balance to the topic of mental health.
Something else that the film does very effectively is show that schizophrenia, and more broadly any mental illness, is never a single cure type of problem. Though John shows some change in function and a degree of control after initial treatment, the narrative makes it clear to the audience that the battle is far from won, and this is demonstrated by the fact that the character continues to experience hallucinations and follow them as if they were real life: for example, his belief that he was a government employee helping to decode newspaper secrets.
Interestingly, something that is particularly significant about the treatment of mental illness within the film is that John, by the end of the narrative, instead of experiencing a triumphant victory over schizophrenia, has learned to cope with his afflictions in a way that allows him to function as best he can. In choosing not to interact with his hallucinations, John is taking control of his illness whilst at the same time understanding that he can never truly rid himself of the schizophrenia. In treating it like a part of yourself that needs as much care and attention as any other, a balance can be found where you neither let it rule your life nor completely succumb to its heavy power. This suggests a wider point that it is possible for anybody, not just John Nash, to be able to take control of their mental illness and live alongside it without allowing it to completely dominate the essence of their lives.
In conclusion, it would be fair to surmise that A Beautiful Mind is an extremely effective cinematic tool that can be used to demonstrate both the effects and concepts that are related to schizophrenia. The picture manages to capture and portray the essence and impact of an illness that by its very nature is almost intangible, and for that it should be applauded. It can be seen as a great resource for opening up a discussion about schizophrenia and mental illness in general.
Analysis of the Film, A Beautiful Mind Essay
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Analysis of the film "A Beautiful Mind"
In the movie, "A Beautiful Mind", the main character, John Nash, is a mathematician who suffers from schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is actually the most chronic and disabling of the major mental illnesses and it distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, interprets reality and relates to others.
The movie, "A Beautiful Mind", John Nash, who is played by Russell Crowe, is a true story about a mathematician whose life is horrific because of his disease, schizophrenia. He was an egocentric man who studied Mathematics in Princeton University. During the whole time that he studied in Princeton, he was trying to come up with his own original idea. He felt that by only…show more content…
These symptoms are: Delusions which are strange beliefs that are not based in reality. Another positive symptom are hallucinations which makes people hear voices, feel touched when they are not touched and see things that are not really there.
The disorganized symptoms are the symptoms that affect a person's ability to think clearly. These symptoms include talking in sentences that do not make sense which causes difficulty in communicating; changing quickly from one thought to the next; moving slowly; being unable to make choices; and forgetting or losing things and repeating the same steps, such as walking in circles.
The negative symptoms are the symptoms that reflect the nonappearance of certain normal behaviors and these symptoms usually appears first and then the other type of symptoms occur. Negative symptoms can be confused with depression. These symptoms are: lack of emotions and expressions; withdrawal from friends, family and social activities; reduced energy; loss of pleasure or interest in life; poor hygiene; and catatonia, a condition in which a person becomes fixed in a single position for a very long time.
There are four basic subtypes of Schizophrenia. These are paranoid schizophrenia which is when people are preoccupied with false beliefs about being persecuted or being punished by someone. Their thinking, speech, and emotions remain fairly normal. Secondly, disorganized