Oct. 10th, 2014

I have not slept in over twenty-four hours. I am going to attempt to write about a movie that I have never seen. That movie's name is "A Beautiful Mind."

"A Beautiful Mind," directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, and Jennifer Connely, was released in 2001 to general critical acclaim. The plot, as I understand it, centers around John Nash, a gifted mathematician at Princeton, whose already-complicated life begins to unravel as he delves deeper into the world of military cryptography. Because of his choice as to how to use his talents, Nash becomes exposed to danger from his involvement in the military. This happens in conjunction with the ongoing growth of a rift between Nash and his loved ones and Nash's gradual descent into mental illness. I do not know how the movie ends.

The movie is adapted from a book of the same name which chronicles the life events of a real man, John Forbes Nash, Jr. The real Nash, still alive, was in fact a professor at Princeton for a significant portion of his academic career. Nash has made profound contributions to many academic fields, and is arguably best known for his breakthroughs in the field of game theory, an interdisciplinary field which draws on elements of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Nash, like his depiction in the film, also struggled with mental illness for a period of his life. Nash began exhibiting symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia in his thirties. His affliction was severe enough to warrant his being admitted to a mental hospital for treatment, and the stress of dealing with his illness forced his wife to leave him. Now Nash is in his eighties. He and his once-ex-wife remarried in 2001 and are still together. Nash has made a number of popular speculations as to the nature of mental illness, and has largely resumed his work as a prolific academic after leaving the worst of his battle with mental illness behind him.

I have managed to write more about the man, John Forbes Nash, Jr., than about the movie about him, "A Beautiful Mind." I am going to go to sleep soon.


Jack Reece

December 2014

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