A Beautiful Mind Movie Review - Starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connely

David Terr
 


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"A Beautiful Mind" is a wonderful film based on the life of the Nobel Prize winning mathematician and economist John Nash and his lifelong struggle with schizophrenia. The acting of Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connely are both superb, as is the story, which I find quite moving.

The movie begins at Princeton University, where Nash (Crowe) is attending graduate school in math. He is brilliant but socially awkward. He becomes best friends with his roommate Charles, a literature student.

After college, Nash accepts a position at MIT, along with his friends Sol and Bender. Shortly thereafter he meets Alicia (Connely), with whom he falls in love and eventually marries. Nash runs into his former roommate Charles, who introduces him to his young niece Marcee. Nash also meets a Department of Defense agent, William Parcher. Nash is invited to the pentagon to crack a secret encryption of an enemy communication, which he does in his head. Parcher also asks Nash to look for secret codes in newspapers and magazines. Nash begins behaving erratically.

Sol starts watching Nash and eventually gets him sedated and sent to a psychiatric facility, where it is discovered that he's been suffering from hallucinations and schizophrenia. Eventually he's released from the hospital with the provision that he take antipsychotic medication. Unfortunately the medication has some bad side effects, including impotence, so he secretly stops taking it, whence his hallucinations return.

Eventually Nash is able to keep his illness under control when he realizes that Marcee has not aged since he met her several years ago. He then realizes that Charles, Marcee, and Parcher are products of his imagination. Over the next several years, he slowly recuperates. Eventually he receives the Nobel Prize in Economics as an old man.

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