A Beautiful Mind, based on the book by Sylvia Nasar
A Beautiful Mind is a resplendent, radiant and…beautiful film.
It has fully deserved the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and multiple other prizes bestowed on it, especially if we consider competitors like The Lord of the Rings and Moulin Rouge!
The Beautiful Mind belongs to the dazzling mathematician, Noble Prize winner john Nash, portrayed with magnificence by Russell Crowe.
It is clear early on, how important mathematicians can be, albeit the public does not think about them, never mind understand anything of the work of those who have created the atomic bombs, or whose contribution was quintessential, deciphered the enemy codes in World War II and saved maybe hundreds of thousands of lives in the process.
As a student, it is evident that although supremely gifted, John Nash is not the best social companion, to say the least, for he immediately pronounces that the tie of the interlocutor could not be made mathematically uglier, or words to that effect.
When they go out for a drink, at the bar near the faculty, John Nash talks to a young woman and says something like…we are supposed to converse, in order to arrive at the point where we exchange fluids, but why don’t we cut through the chase and just get to the stage where we have sexual intercourse…
He gets slapped and rejected, evidently, but he does not like losing, as happens in a game of – it could have been- go, where the one who would become Nash’s dean moves the marbles better and provokes a furious gesture, the Beautiful Mind runs from the table and throws the pieces to the ground.
On another outing, as all the male students are focused on a group of young women, they prefer within set a very attractive, splendid blonde, exchanging jokes and veiled threats among them, only to determine John Nash to sketch the scheme of what would be his ultimate theory, called:
The Nash Equilibrium…
He explains to his colleagues that Adam Smith was wrong in purporting that if all actors act for their own benefit, the outcome would be the best possible.
Nash suggests that, if they all go for the blonde, the men would all annihilate each other’s efforts, whereas the best result would have them all ignore the most coveted woman, the blonde who is the secret of their failure, if they all fight for her.
Therefore, it is best for all to work for their own benefit, but also for the advantage of the group and this theory would be the basis of other research, would have an impact in economics, where it is applied, but also in other domains, like evolutionary biology, and it has ultimately won the Nobel for Nash, but not before a representative was sent to talk to the mathematician to assess his state of mind.
It is fascinating in this scenario to admire the Beautiful Mind in all its glory, but also to commiserate with him when he descends into hell, reaching a nadir when his mind starts to wonder and he imagines things.
Studies have demonstrated that people with mental issues tend to be the most creative, inventive, and in the case of John Nash, the same mind that gave the world the Equilibrium Theory is responsible for nightmares, visions and torment, with the mathematician imagining he is employed by a secret agent to track the actions of the Soviets in the United States.
The brilliance of the screenplay and the director, Ron Howard, makes audiences doubt for a long time, not knowing for sure how much of this work does happen, what is real and what has been envisaged only in the sick part of the Beautiful Mind.
The creative paranoia has both Nash and his CIA or NSA partner followed in a fast car chase, they are fired upon by what might be Soviet agents and ultimately Parcher aka Ed Harris presents a threat to the family of the scientist.
Jennifer Connelly is the winner of the Academy Award, Golden Globe and other splendid prizes for her role as the wife of the sensational professor, Alicia Nash and she is one of the most charming, sophisticated, delicate, aristocratic, divine, classy, seraphic, mesmerizing, exuberant actresses in the world.
When Nash thinks he is threatened by Parcher, who thinks his wife knows too much and has a gun pointed at the woman who hold their child, the professor ties to interpose, only to throw his wife against the furniture.
From the outside, this looks like the paranoiac has reached the unacceptable limit and he is a danger to his family, indeed, there is another instance when he is supposed to watch over his baby, as the latter takes a bath, only to endanger him again, with his hallucinations and distraction.
After receiving treatment, which seems to work and make paranoiacs that take their medication comport with absolute normality, the mathematician returns to university, in some heartbreaking scenes he is honored by peers who all come to his table to express admiration and awe, as John Nash is being tested by an envoy from the Nobel Foundation, for the committee is interested to see if in case they would attribute the prize to the scientist he would misbehave and eventually act like a chicken.
Nash is the one who perceives this worry and he acts with grace and humor, proving he possesses Emotional Intelligence and not just…A Beautiful Mind.