Movie Review: A Beautiful Mind

I chose A Beautiful Mind for the movie review, I picked it because I had been told years ago that I should watch it and it was definitely a good choice. The film is about Mr. Nash who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia part-way through the film. It begins in 1947 when Mr. Nash is in school at Princeton University, his struggles with social skills are apparent but besides this the film does not clue you in on which people are part of his delusions until later. This way it is possible to understand better how he is experiencing Schizophrenia and how attached he is to his delusions. When Mr. Nash is taken to a Psychiatric hospital by Dr. Rosan, it is apparent how few treatment options there are and how injurious they can be to the patient. The doctor has a difficult task of trying to get his patient to understand what is real and what is not and during this process Mr. Nash has a number of episodes where he becomes very upset. Eventually he is able to come to and understanding about his diagnosis and he is sent home with medication. As is typical, the medication interferes so much with his life that he chooses to stop taking it and ends up relapsing. Once he discovers his delusions again with the help of his wife and the doctor, he becomes determined to find another way to live without the hospital and without medication. He is able to become aware of how to tell reality and delusions apart and he goes back to Princeton as a Professor and ultimately he wins the Nobel Prize. 

There is a lot about this film that coincides with what we have been studying in class. There is a stigma and shame around mental health at different points in the film as well as the use of words like “mental illness” and “crazy”. It is also shown just how difficult his mental breakdown was on his family as well as being dangerous to his wife and his small child. The use of insulin in his treatment is something that we have read about quite a bit as well and how injurious this treatment could be. I found it interesting how the wife was present in the Psychiatric hospital and how the doctor thought she could actually help her husband where as in many readings we have seen that the doctors preferred patients to be more isolated from the families. The way the Psychiatrist attempted to get him to go to the hospital with him was interesting as well as I recall in some of our readings they would try to tell the patient they were going somewhere else or not lead on that they were going to the hospital in order to get the patient to go peacefully. Lastly, the way he is so dedicated to his work and applies himself so strongly there and not to much else is something that we have discussed that doctors would consider during treatment and they may try to balance out his activities. This film portrayed a number of different things that we have discussed in class and seen in the readings, these being some of the most obvious.

“A Beautiful Mind (2001) Theatrical Trailer.” YouTube, November 12, 2018. 

  1. “A Beautiful Mind (Film) .” Wikipedia, November 7, 2023.  ↩