A Beautiful Mind (2001) Directed by Ron Howard
The chosen movie for this review is the movie A Beautiful Mind (2001), directed by Ron Howard. This movie follows the life of a famous mathematician, John Nash, and his endless struggle with schizophrenia. From his college, John Nash had been under the influence of this mental condition which followed him throughout his life, and even when he got the Nobel Prize his imaginary companions were with him. Schizophrenia disconnected him from the reality and the immediate surroundings. As the movie covers the period from the 1947 until the 1994, viewers can monitor the progress of Nash's condition and his confrontation to medications and traditional method of schizophrenia treatment. John Nash is trying to overcome his condition and creativity wins and defeats his disease. After the movie, the audience has to ask themselves is it possible to control schizophrenia without drugs. Another aspect that the movie is presenting is Nash's impossibility to confine to social norms and a difficulty to achieve a relationship and the only person who supports and understands him is his wife, Alicia.
The intention of this movie, apart from the amusing public, was to point out to the difficulties that people with schizophrenia face, the other approaches to treating this mental condition and the struggle of John Nash to beat his demons and succeed in the real world. It was difficult for him to differentiate and separate the imaginary world from the reality. In this imaginary world, Nash helps CIA to break the codes and in his real life he has a wife and a son. When the first symptoms of schizophrenia appeared at Princeton, he accepted them as part of his reality. The retreat in imagination may be seen as an escape from the surrounding which rejected Nash as a strange person. His intention to court to a young girl was a disaster; he was slapped for using socially unacceptable words. Nash's strange behavior amused his peers and for many years he could not find love. The failure to behave according to social norms forces people into their own imaginary worlds and confines them to solitude. When Alicia came along, she opened new emotions in John Nash, emotions that he did not felt. Nash cannot define love, translate it into numbers, so when Alicia asks him how big is the Universe his answer is indefinite even though he does not know it for sure, but believes in it (A Beautiful Mind). With the support of his wife, Nash manages to overcome all the barriers that he had while fighting the schizophrenia.
On the other hand, the role of a woman in a patriarchal society is difficult. Alicia becomes a housewife despite her education. Even though they met at the University and she was Nash's student, Alicia renounced her education and her future career just to support her husband. Alicia lived for so many years believing that Nash truly had a roommate, Charles Herman. Even though Alicia played a role of a perfect housewife, a loving and devoted wife she felt alone, the only rational person in the family. The society expects from a woman to behave according to some norms and the upbringing and the family values play a big role in Alicia's decision help her husband. The society expects that women are well educated so that they could lead the conversation in intellectual circles and follow their husbands. This movie has a subplot where it reveals to the audience the role of a woman through the story of Alicia and her struggle to save her family and her sanity. Despite the schizophrenia that Nash's managed to keep under control, Alicia found her place next to her husband and her son.
Despite the fact that the main character was dealing with schizophrenia, with the sense of unconformity to social norms and strange talents, he managed to become accepted by the society and to find the barrier between reality and imagination. Every individual and the community depend on each other. In the beginning, Nash lost this connection and was alienated from others. Only when an individual accepts its own problems, the community can help as well. Nash was surprised and felt accepted when his colleagues asked him to join the room where all of the other professors sat and gave him a pen, as a sign of respect. It is a dream of every man, and Nash received it with surprised, unaware of his brilliant discovery that changed the course of the economy.
This movie explores the challenges that John had and the ways managed to repress schizophrenia, disease that takes over someone's capability to differentiate between reality and imagination. In many cases, people treated from schizophrenia in a traditional way lose their individuality and become numb to the world around them. This movie presents a story of a man who managed chose to fight his own demons in his way and succeeded with the help of his immediate surroundings. There are no so many movies that deal with mental disorders and A Beautify Mind is one of these movies deliver the audience the message that everything is possible if an individual has a strong will.
A Beautiful Mind (2001) Directed by Ron Howard