The movie, A Beautiful Mind, is a thought provoking film that makes one consider what it is that truly makes a genius, how far the human mind drive us to the heights of intelligence or the bottom of despair and finally makes one consider what it truly means to overcome adversity to rise and be recognized.
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Scenes in the movie such as Russell Crowes paranoid delusions, his incarceration in a mental asylum, his recovery and subsequent accomplishment of winning a Nobel peace prize are all scenes which highlight the sheer emotional quality evident in the way in which the movie attempts to portray the life of John Nash.
The scenes invoke such joy, sadness and excitement in various instances that one cannot help but feel a distinct degree of emotional attachment to the character of Nash making the film that much more vivid to both watch and remember. Overall, the story quality combined with the plot film gives the movie a timeless quality that even a dozen repetitive viewings fail to tarnish due to the sheer strength of the emotions it captures and relays to viewers.
While watching the film one cannot help but notice the touching and evocative film score that perfectly relays the emotions of the characters further strengthening the emotional connection between the film and its viewers. The film score is neither dramatic nor is too soft rather it is has a smooth tonal quality to it that draws people in, invokes a sense of nostalgia, wonderment and a sense of sorrow.
The score has a steady melody wherein the sound of violins combines with smooth bass tones to create an environment that doesn’t invoke excitement but rather a prolonged sense of contemplation. It music in the movie is almost entirely geared towards calm consideration and speaks highly of the skills of the composer in creating such a distinctive sound that people cannot help but think of both the good and bad that has happened in their lives and how they have helped to shape who they are at the present.
The background of the movie isn’t what one would normally consider exciting or for that matter overly interesting, rather, the setting itself seems to have been chosen for the way in which it closely resembles what an average person would see on a daily basis. This is an important point to consider since it provides an impetus for audiences to consider how they themselves could be placed in the exact same situation due to the similarity in settings.
It makes people consider how they would react to the Nash’s situation if they were in his shoes, if they would succeed the way he had done or if they could endure the same amount of emotional turmoil as what he endured. The background in the film doesn’t overwhelm the characters in the story, rather, its muted quality helps to bring out the emotions, pain and anguish for the viewers to see and experience.
When watching the film one cannot help but notice the sheer acting talent of Russell Crowe in his portrayal of Nash. From Nash’s eccentricities, brilliance all the way down to the paranoid delusions and schizophrenia everything is perfectly portrayed by Crowe.
Scenes such as Nash’s animated talks in the University, his portrayal as being crazy and his subsequent incarceration and the penultimate scene where he finally receives his Nobel peace prize display such power and acting talent that one cannot help but think that Crowe is John Nash. Crowe did an excellent job in portraying the anguish of a person that is realizing that his mind that is his greatest gift has now become his worst enemy.
The slow deterioration, the emotional suffering and the fear of losing one’s brilliance is perfectly captured by Crowe and this in itself is transferred to viewers which makes them pause and consider what it truly means to be brilliant, what is necessary to rise to the heights of academic accomplishment and what it truly means to lose something that makes you what you are today.
The movie itself is set in the mid to late 1900s due to the events of the movie taking place during this time. Overall, it can be stated that this particular setting is rather interesting to take note of since it displays a time where not only are social behaviors different but the way in which mental illnesses are looked upon are vastly different as well.
One of the most thought provoking scenes in the movie is the instance where Nash is sent to an insane asylum and subject to treatments such as electroshock therapy, mind numbing medications and an assortment of other practices that seem brutal by today’s standards. It is this particular setting that helps audiences consider what it meant to be “different” during this particular time in America’s history and as such helps to further strengthen the appeal of audiences to the case of John Nash.
Lastly, it must be mentioned that the film’s overall cinematography lend its storyline a very distinct flow. It non-linear method of telling a story helps the scenes to blend into to each other creating a rather riveting story progression. The film doesn’t seem hurried or overly slow rather it tells the story of the life of John Nash at a plodding pace. It is slow and deliberate in the way in which the scenes progress and as such gives time for viewers to examine different aspects of the film while truly enjoying the various emotional scenes the movie has.
Crowe, Rusell, Perf. A Beautiful Mind. Dir. Ron Howard. Universal Studios, 2001. Film.