The movie, A Beautiful Mind, is a biography of John Nash, and describes his work as a mathematician and his private life (Nasar; Goldsman). Nash shared the Nobel Prize 1994 with two other economists for his 1950 doctoral dissertation he wrote at Princeton University on game theory. Nash suffered from schizophrenia, and the movie tells how he overcame the debilitating mental illness to attain a true sense of accomplishment. The first part of the film looks at NashÆs life at Princeton with his roommate, Charles, who became his best friend. It establishes NashÆs intellectual stamina and his tendency to be outspoken in his social life. During the first part of the film neither Nash or the audience are aware that his roommate, the roommateÆs niece and a mysterious Department of Defense agent are all hallucinatory, part of NashÆs psychotic ailment and not real.
After his studies at Princeton, Nash becomes increasingly paranoid, believing he is cracking codes for the Department of Defense, and dropping them off for agents to collect. When his behavior is observed by coworkers, they report it to his superiors and he is hospitalized and forced to confront his schizophrenia. He is released on medication, but its side effects alter his personality and when he stops taking it, his psychoses return with almost fatal results for his young son. Nash has to make a choice between continuing the medication, which paralyzes him intellectually, or living with his schizophrenia. He and his wife decide to learn to live with it, and the rest of the movie is devoted to his trying to ignore the hallucinations and continue his work. He learns to cope with his problem and begins to teach at the university, where he is honored for his lifetime achievements.
While many movies about gifted and disturbed individuals make them into poor defenseless innocents victimized by unscrupulous people, A Beautiful Mind does no such thing. It sho