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    A Beautiful Mind Analysis

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    Joey JoJo Shabadoo

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    A Beautiful Mind Analysis

    Post by Joey JoJo Shabadoo on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:51 pm

    Normally, the symptoms of John Nash’s schizophrenia are hard to depict on the movie screen. However, the makers of the film created a way to visualize Nash’s visual state by creating characters out of his auditory hallucinations and using Russel Crowe’s acting as a way to subtly hint at Nash’s mental state.

    Charles Herman, the first hallucination, is first seen from Nash’s point of view, announcing that “the prodigal roommate has arrived” (Howard). This is to indicate that Charlie is a hallucination since he shows up in a shot filmed in Nash’s perspective after an empty shot of Nash’s dormitory door. After a scene transition, they are chatting on a university building roof and getting to know each other better. In this scene, Nash and Charles are the only people filmed on camera. This scene is trying to subtly hint at Charles being a hallucination because of how the scene is focused on Nash and Charles. Nash describes himself as a man who does not “like people much” (Howard). Charlie quips that Nash has “wit and charm” and bad-mouths mathematics (Howard).

    In the library, Nash talks with Charles about Nash’s work. Once again, Charles is the only person in this scene other than Nash. This indicates how Nash is in his own world when he is with Charles. Charles suggests that Nash should take a break and drink some booze. Charles leaves abruptly and Nash loudly proclaims that he is going to get wasted, which garners a few stares from the other students (Howard). This part indicates how Nash’s mental state is deteriorating because the students witnessed a man having an outburst. Also, Charles disappeared as suddenly as he showed up.

    After a long chat with a professor about how Nash is not performing well in school and an argument with Charlie, Nash angrily tosses his desk out the window, laughing because he felt that was therapeutic and apologizes to the students staring at that incident (Howard). This scene hints at Nash’s schizophrenia by having Charles acting strangely and encouraging Nash to do strange things. Also, the students only react to Nash’s actions. Nash heads to the bar to cool his head.

    After a Eureka moment, Nash comes up with his thesis and gets hired at Wheeler Labs. Charles seems ecstatic upon hearing that. Charles is the only one in that scene. This moment acts as a subtle hint for Charles being a hallucination of Nash because the apparent focus on Charles and his actions. After decoding a message and finding out about a Soviet plot to blow up locations in the USA. Someone was watching him during the decoding. No one seems to notice this, which suggests that the watcher is one of Nash’s hallucinations. After teaching a class at MIT and meeting his future wife, he meets William Parcher.

    During Parcher’s introduction, Parcher shows up in Nash’s perspective. This scene hints at Parcher being a hallucination because the previous shot showed that no one was exiting the building at the time. Also, Parcher is the only prominent person other than Nash in this scene. Nash got an assignment from Parcher because he is “the best natural code-breaker [Parcher has] ever seen” and gets a strange implant placed in his arm by Parcher. The diode implant hints at Nash’s schizophrenia because the diode implant was placed in him using technology that was not around during the Fifties. Nash drops off his work in a mailbox near a lit mansion. This hints at Nash’s schizophrenia because the lit mansion would suggest that it is not that private. Some time passes and Alicia enters Nash’s office, wondering why the students “waited half an hour” for a missing teacher and saying that she solved the problem on the board (Howard). Nash asked Alicia out for a date and fell in love with her.

    While visiting Harvard University to visit Charles, Nash encounters Marcee, Charles’s niece. Like Parcher and Charles, she shows up from out of nowhere. He also has a chat with Charlie about Alicia. No one seems to butt in on the conversation. This hints at Nash’s schizophrenia because the extras in the scene do not react to Marcee or Charles’s presence. Some time passes and Alicia is worried about Nash. Nash says he was so busy at work, he forgot about wrapping Alicia’s birthday gift (Howard). This scene hints at him suffering a mental disorder because of how he forgot an important task. He also proposes to Alicia and marries her. He resumes his job after that scene until something major happens.

    After a car chase scene with the Soviets and Parcher, Alicia is worried about Nash because he “didn’t call” her (Howard). Nash proceeds to lock himself in his room and Alicia demands that Nash should “open the door” for her (Howard). This scene hints at Nash’s schizophrenia because of the way he is acting around Alicia. There is a shot of cars approaching Nash’s house seen through Nash’s eyes. This could be seen as a hint of Nash’s schizophrenia because of the cars entering the camera shot in a certain way. Nash heads to the Government building to have a chat with Parcher.

    Nash has an argument with Parcher about the code-breaking. Nash feels it “is not what [Nash] signed on for” (Howard). After Parcher leaving the building and Nash demanding that Parcher should give one more chance, one of Nash’s colleagues seems concerned about Nash’s well-being. This scene hints at Nash’s schizophrenia because Parcher did not show up in the next shot. Also, the concerned colleague was wondering who Nash was talking to. Nash leaves the building and tries to hide himself. He also tells Alicia to “go for [her] sister’s [residence]” (Howard). They have an argument, which ends with Alicia concerned about Nash’s sanity.

    After a scene with Charles at Harvard University, Nash encounters Dr. Rosen. Dr. Rosen and a few men proceed to drag Nash off to [=MacArthur=] Psychiatric Hospital after warning Marcee and Charles about how the Russians are coming to get him. Dr. Rosen does not react to Nash’s conservation, hinting that Nash is talking to his delusions. Charles somehow ends up at the hospital with Nash. Charles has different lighting placed on him, hinting at how Charles is just a hallucination. Upon seeing Charles in the Hospital, Nash proceeds to rant and rave at Charles for a bit. Charles does not respond back, hinting at Charles being a figment of Nash’s imagination. Dr. Rosen says that no one else is in the room but them. In response, Nash insists that Charles is right there. (Howard). Dr. Rosen sends Nash away while Nash rants and raves about being captured by the Russians (Howard).

    The story switches to Alicia’s perspective. Dr. Rosen and Alicia talk about how Nash has schizophrenia. Dr. Rosen asks Alicia to retrieve Nash’s work. Alicia heads over to Nash’s office and talks to Sol about the location of the hidden drop spot (Howard). At the hidden drop spot, Alicia sees that the Mansion is abandoned and damaged (Howard). This scene of Alicia exploring the drop spot is used as a comparison between reality and Nash’s delusions. Alicia heads over to the hospital and talks to Nash about his illness and how it is all in Nash’s mind. After Rosen gives Nash his treatment, Alicia and Hansen talk about their lives. Life goes on normally until Nash has relapsed.

    He has a chat with Parcher in the forest surrounding the Nash residence. There’s a shot of Nash being surrounded by the army, hinting that Nash is suffering schizophrenia because of how sudden they arrived. Also, the moment that triggers Nash’s encounter with Parcher is seen from Nash’s perspective. The situation escalates with Alicia finding her baby almost drowning to death because Nash thought that “Charles was watching him” (Howard). Alicia and Nash argue about Charles’s existence and Nash tries to make up a flimsy excuse. During the argument, Nash accidently hurts Alicia while trying to protect Alicia from Parcher. In this scene, Parcher is a hallucination because of how he quickly appears in front of Nash after a distraction. He also pulls a gun out way too quickly. After a moment of clarity, Nash realizes his delusions are not real.

    For a while, Nash struggles with his delusions while everyone mocks him for being a lunatic. At one point, Parcher is berating Nash while Nash denying his existence (Howard). Another time, Charles says that he is disappointed in Nash’s behavior (Howard). These two scenes are considered hints of Nash’s condition because no-one other than Nash is reacting to Parcher and Charles’s presence.

    Nash tries to find a student to tutor, so he can find someone to talk to other than his delusions and succeeds. His life proceeded normally until Thomas King approaches Nash and tells him that Nash has earned the Nobel Peace Prize because the “[Nash] Equilibrium is a cornerstone of modern economics” (Howard). King and Nash have a chat about the Awards and how his schizophrenia could impact the ceremony. At the Awards ceremony in Stockholm, Nash gives a speech about his life before he accepts the Award. He says that he has been “through the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional” and that he has found out “logic” can be found in the “the mysterious equations of love” (Howard). He also thanks Alicia for helping him with his schizophrenia. These scenes showed that Nash learned to cope with his hallucinations because the hallucinations do not show up in those scenes. Also, the scenes focused on the people Nash knows are truly real.

    As the director of the movie, Howard knew how arrange the movie to convey a certain message. To make it seem like we were in Nash’s mind, he used shots that looked like they were shown through Nash’s point of view. To make Parcher, Marcee and Charles look unreal, they used shots where no one is around and used shots where they looked like they have appeared from out of nowhere. As a result, A Beautiful Mind got an Academy Award in several categories.

    Works Cited

    Howard, Ron, dir. A Beautiful Mind. Writ. Akiva Goldsman, Sylvia Nasar, and Perf. RussellCrowe. UniversalStudios, 2001. Film. 4 Apr 2012.

    metatronel

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    Re: A Beautiful Mind Analysis

    Post by metatronel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:48 am

    If one does an internet-search, one would see that, on the so called “credible sites”, the Nash equilibrium is usually tried to be presented as something that is wrong to be compared with Adam Smith’s theory.
    So, they use their “credibility” to persuade the laymen (that is, the majority) in that: a laymen go to “credible” sites, and see that “credible” people ‘explain’ that “Adam Smith ‘actually’ does not need revision”, and, the laymen do not analyze that by themselves, since they are not able to, so they believe to “credible” sources.

    After the Nash’s remarkable, outstanding way of cracking of the Russian radio-code caught by the American national security, nobody was thrilled with that achievement of his, with that true act of a genius. On the contrary: the people from the national security concluded that Nash was able to solve that puzzle in the way he did solve it only and exclusively because he was most probably the Russian agent. They thought that was the way the Russians planned to embed their agent in the very core of American national security center – Nash delights the top-men in American national security center with his “outstanding analytical mind”, and they engage him at the very core of the national security. Why did they not trust him, him who definitely was and is the US-patriot-to-the-bone, and who always considered the Russians to be the worst enemy? There are at least three reasons:
    1st: they have a professional deviation, called “be suspicious about everyone”, (always, but especially when the cold war is on, with Russians, with the atom-bombs-armed-“red-devils”, the worst threat ever to the “American way of life”)
    2nd: “be suspicious especially if something strange happens” (i.e. cracking the code just standing and looking at the huge walls covered with thousands of random numbers). And, they don’t have the sense of humor – Nash couldn’t say the more wrong remark than he did. And that was “Who’s the big brother?”, for the man whom Nash noticed that he was watching him from the gallery, after he cracked the Russian radio code. He dares to compare the national security officer with the Orwell’s 1984 “big brother”, that is, with the communist “big brother”? In the very core of the American national security center? In the middle of the cold-war? For days already they were all sweating because of unseccessful efforts to crack the code, and Nash comes, does not even look at that what they tried to do, and makes them all feel so stupid, by cracking the code just standing and looking at the numbers, and at the end he makes inapropriate jokes? “Well, check this arrogant prick” was the very next command of the superior officer, as soon as Nash left the premises.
    3rd: so, they checked Nash’s files, and found out that he made revision of the theory which is the core of capitalism! Actually, they realized that what Nash himself never did realize – the “small brains”, the “lesser minds” (the way Nash used to call even his colleagues), saw that what he – the genius genius – did not: that Nash proved mathematically that the socialism is the better way of social organizing.

    Hansen: Recall the lessons of Adam Smith, the father of modern economics. "In competition …"
    Everybody: "… individual ambition serves the common good."
    John: [after thinking] Adam Smith needs revision.
    Hansen: What are you talking about?
    John: Adam Smith said the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself. Right? That's what he said, right?
    Hansen: Right.
    John: Incomplete. Incomplete, okay? Because the best result will come from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself … and the group.
    Hansen: Nash, if this is some way for you to get the blonde on your own, you can go to hell.
    John: Governing dynamics, gentlemen. Governing dynamics. Adam Smith … was wrong!

    The essence of socialism is
    the best result will come from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself AND the group,
    and expanding in the same way: each group doing what's best for itself AND the other groups.
    So, it is all about constructive collaboration, and NOT confrontation.
    Humaneness, ethics, and moral are the essence of socialism.

    metatronel

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    Re: A Beautiful Mind Analysis

    Post by metatronel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:55 am

    And also, Nash’s personality-type (arrogant, conceited, ambitious) is – according to personality profiling – very prone to be double agent. For them, it was more likely that Russians told him what their message means – then he makes “the show”, he delights the national security with his “miraculous, ingenious mind”, and his position goes up (that is, his ambition is satisfied), and Russians have their man within national security. The cunning, experienced security officers “did not buy that”. Actually, they cunningly decided “to play the game”, that is, to pretend that they “bought it”.
    From there on, they put Nash under strict surveillance, and they undertook the measures and methods to discover his connections with Russians. They knew he was very snobbish, arrogant, prone to consider even his professional colleagues as “lesser minds”, so they played the game according to that. They pretended they gave him the top-secret tasks, the most special assignments, “that only genius mind of his is able to handle”. That was very pleasing for his vanity. And he gave his best, not just to do what was expected from him, but to overdo that, far beyond the expectations of the “lesser minds”.
    And the agents carefully followed him, to discover his connections with Russians.
    Nash also noticed that he was followed, but he thought that those were the Russian agents who followed him.

    metatronel

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    Re: A Beautiful Mind Analysis

    Post by metatronel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:58 am

    American agents could not discover his connections. But they did not think that was because he was an honest patriot. They thought that it is because he was too smart to be discovered. There are more reasons why they did not consider him to be the patriotic, mathematical genius, but some double-agent genius. Because, there’s a common stereotype – geniuses are usually presented as arrogant, strange and almost always evil persons, who either try to enslave, or to destroy the world (in cartoons, comics, B and C class movies, that is, in media which have significant influence on mediocrity-mind forming). And, in any national security, there is no other but the mediocrity-mind type. A genius is a rare, strange creature, and it always outsmarts the mediocrity-people, and is usually prone to abuse them, make them look funny and stupid. Geniuses are strange, crazy (the usual adjective for geniuses, scientists; they are nerds, nuts), and mediocrities do not like having them nearby, almost in the same way that they do not want any mentally ill persons nearby). Nash did fit into such stereotype perfectly.
    So, the security officers thought he played his spy-game very well, ingeniously well, and that this was the reason they could not reveal any connections with Russians. They even tried to scare him, to make him think that Russian agents decided to eliminate him (the scene when Parcher “saved” Nash (the only car chase and gun-fire scene in the movie)), and that he will then – being scared for his life – himself admit that he did work for Russians, or at least that he will make some wrong move, so that american agents get some solid proof against him. But of course, that did not give any result they hoped for, and they finally lost their patience – they concluded that they cannot outsmart him, so the only option that left was to try to get information about his connections directly from him – by putting him under the electroshock “therapy”, and other methods for squeezing information out from a person. And they definitely damaged his brain, trying to squeeze out from him that what never existed in reality.

    metatronel

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    Re: A Beautiful Mind Analysis

    Post by metatronel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:01 am

    In interrogation sessions they investigated the two usual, simple, routine options – his connection was either someone outside the american secret service (i.e. Charles), or some spy who already was embedded within the secret service, another double-agent (i.e. Parcher).
    Parcher most probably did exist. Also Charles, and his little cousin Marcee. Most probably, Nash did see Charles in Dr. Rosen office, and not because it was his mind-delusion, but because Charles actually was there. Poor Charles was in big trouble, too – as someone who is Nash’s possible connection with Russians. Who knows what they did to Charles.

    Interrogators could not erase them from Nash’s mind, but they made him a schizo, and persuaded him that Parcher, Charles and Marcee are the product of his schizo-mind.

    And so, from a healthy (although extremely arrogant, conceited, but nevertheless healthy), distinguished person, they created a mad man. Almost destroying Nash, and his family. And nobody can accuse them, they are perfectly hidden behind the broadly accepted attitude, a stereotype, that “geniuses are always on the verge of madness”. Even Nash did not and does not suspect anything – he himself accepted that he was always a schizo. So, they did a perfect crime.

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    Re: A Beautiful Mind Analysis

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