Topic: The Movie: A beautiful mind
The movie A Beautiful Mind is a Hollywood film that was released in the month January 2002. The Movie is categorized as a biographical drama film since it dramatically illustrates the life of John Nash, the Nobel Laureate in Economics. The movie tried to depict some of the challenges faced by academicians in their pursuit for knowledge and eventual glory and honor. The movie was directed by Ron Howard based on the screenplay written by Akiva Goldman. This essay seeks to exploit the movie in terms of how it demonstrates Professor John Nash’s determination to achieve his academic dreams against the backdrops of social, marital and psychological pressure (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 95).
The movie begins with John Nash as a young graduate student who gets an opportunity to study economics at the Princeton University. From the beginning of the movie, John Nash is already a recipient of the Carnegie Prize for mathematics. The award is considered a prestigious achievement given only to exception students of mathematics and economics, and John Nash was, no doubt, exceptional. The passion of this award gives the viewers a premonition of what to expect of John Nash in the course of his study at the University (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 105).
John Nash comes out to be a socially awkward student who does not understand the social conventions of human interactions. He demonstrates this social awkwardness at the local bar when he could not strike a conversation with the ladies at the bar. This incidence at the bar marks the beginning of John Nash’s social problems, in so far as human interaction is concerned. Although a little embarrassed at the fact that he cannot interact socially with other people, John Nash finds a perfect excuse for his situation. He admits to his friend Charles that he is better at interaction with numbers than with people. This claim does not, in any way, surprise his friends after the previous night’s incident at the bar (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 105)
While at the university, Nash is obsessed with his search for a truly original idea for his research paper. The pressure starts to build on him since he cannot start his work on the project before developing a thesis. The situation gets even worse for Nash since all these are happening at the background of a socially demanding community of students. The social pressure demands that he must get a romantic relationship with the girls in college, and it is challenging since he does not have the slightest idea how to do. Naturally, like is with many socially awkward academicians, Nash decides to devote all his time in doing the one thing that brought him to Princeton University: the pursuit of knowledge, something he famously calls the original idea (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 126).
One particularly harsh social situation for Nash came while still at Princeton College. His attempts to get into a social relationship with the opposite gender was thwarted when he got a harsh rejection from a woman at the same local bar he and his friend loved to visit. The rejection can be said to have had a huge impact on Nash’s academic career: The rejection formed the basis of his work on the concept of governing dynamics, a theory that is commonly used in mathematical economics (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 95).
After the completion of his research work at the Princeton College, Nash gets a prestigious appointment to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with his friends Sol and Bender. Nash’ social challenges did not end at the Princeton College; instead they followed him all the way to MIT. Five years into his MIT teaching program, Nash is involved in yet another round of socially questionable act. During one his lecture series at the MIT calculus class, he gives his students a calculus challenge on the board to see their understanding of the concepts. One of his students, Alicia Larde follows Nash into his office to discuss the calculus problem since she did not grasp the concept properly. Nash takes this opportunity to make an attempt to initiate a romantic relationship with Alicia, and his efforts pay off. The two fall in love and ultimately get married (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 29).
Having a love affair with a student is not a socially acceptable behaviour for lecturers, but Nash does not subscribe to any social convection since he is socially challenged. Besides the teacher-students relationship ethics, one can also argue that Professor Nash was a little bit too old for Alicia, and hence a romantic relationship between them is considered socially awkward. On his visit to Princeton, Professor Nash meets his old friend Charles accompanied by his young niece Marcee. It is revealed in the movie that Nash had some admiration for the young Marcee, hence confirming the claim that Nash loves to hit on young girls instead of going for women of his age (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 192).
Amidst of all these social challenges, Professor Nash continues to demonstrate his academic brilliance and the determination to get an original idea in the field of mathematics. For instance, he demonstrates his ingenious when he cracked a complex encryption code belong to the enemy, according to the Pentagon. His involvement with the pentagon brings Professor Nash a whole set of problems that compounds onto his already existing social problems. After a series of problems with the Russians over the intelligence code encryption systems, Professor Nash develops psychiatry disorder that makes him have hallucinations and paranoia.
The psychiatric problem of Professor Nash affects both his academic life and his marriage life, making Alicia increasingly worried of her husband. She ends up taking Nash’s case to the psychiatrists who put him under psychiatric therapy and isolation. The anti-psychotic drugs he is given presents negative side effect that affects his relationship with Alicia, and above all, affect his mental capacity. In his psychotic condition, his friend who is merely a hallucination Parcher urges him to kill his wife but refuses and a strong argument ensues, that scares of Alicia (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 95).
In the end, Professor returns back to Princeton College where he is welcomed back as a member of the faculty. It turns out that Nash’s fellow professors and academicians still regard him highly as can be seen from the respect they accorded him upon his return. Nash goes on to pursue his original knowledge, something that bears fruit in the end when he wins a Nobel Prize in mathematical economics (Goldman, Akiva & Sylvia, 201).
In conclusion, it is important to note that the film, a beautiful mind, is a creative attempt to expose some of the socially challenges faced by most academicians in their process of seeking for true knowledge. Professor John Nash’s academic life was plagued by a roller coaster of problems that almost ended his career, but thanks to his determination and true brilliance, he sailed through.
Goldsman, Akiva, and Sylvia Nasar. A Beautiful Mind: The Shooting Script. New York: Newmarket, 2002. Print.