A Beautiful Mind
“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.