A Beautiful Mind: an Abnormal Movie Analysis

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A Beautiful Mind: An Abnormal Movie Analysis
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 cinematic semi-biography based upon the life of Nobel Laureate of Economics John Forbes Nash, Jr. Seneca said that there is no great genius without some touch of madness, and this is certainly the case with Dr. Nash. The movie opens on Nash as a graduate student at Princeton University. He struggles to find a unique idea, one that will set him apart from his peers and earn him recognition. Though Nash is self-admittedly “better with numbers than people”, he finds an unlikely friend in Charles, the “Prodigal Roommate”, who becomes Nash’s best friend, during grad school and beyond. With Charles’ support, Nash develops an idea that earns him the recognition he desires, as well as a prestigious appointment at MIT. Things are going well for Nash, personally as well as professionally. He falls in love and marries Alicia Larde, a grad student in his class, and also reconnects with Charles and his adopted niece, Marcee. He is also covertly hired by the CIA, and works with the mysterious William Parcher to help decipher and thwart a Soviet bomb plot. However, things rapidly deteriorate when Nash’s paranoia becomes extreme and his actions increasingly erratic and nonsensical. After Alicia sends him to a psychiatric hospital, Nash is officially diagnosed with Schizophrenia. He discovers that much of his life, including Parcher and the CIA work as well as Charles and Marcee, have been nothing more than delusions and hallucinations. The rest of the movie follows Nash’s and Alicia’s journey together to try to navigate life with this disorder. It culminates in Nash’s being awarded the Nobel Prize, and in being able to acknowledge his delusions for what they are.

The movie relates to our class in that the main character suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that falls under the category of abnormal psychology. Several of the symptoms cited in the DSM IV are present,...
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