The 2001 biopic/drama film ‘A Beautiful Mind’, directed by Ron Howard is a prime example of a text in which visual and verbal techniques are used to develop the personality of a character. An important job for the director of any film is to establish a framework and personality for the protagonist. ‘A Beautiful Mind’ is no different, and visual and verbal techniques are used effectively to develop the personality of John Nash. But because Ron Howard is dealing with a very complex character in the form of a paranoid schizophrenic mathematician, his personality is forever changing and the differing film techniques achieve this.
As this film is a biopic/drama drawn into one, the viewer follows Nash’s life over a number of years. Nash faces many tricky dilemmas and the way he deals with these situations are conveyed to the audience, using these film techniques. Nash (who is portrayed by Russell Crowe) changes drastically throughout the text, because he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Director Ron Howard uses the technique of ‘characterisation’ to adapt his personality in different ways.
Throughout the text, the viewer is introduced to several ‘imaginary characters’, who are in fact delusional figures created by Nash. The first component of the ‘characterisation’ technique is when director Ron Howard chooses to introduce these characters. Often injected at great times of stress for Nash, the delusion characters normally create further dispute between Nash and his real life companions. An important stage of the text is just after the climax, where Howard chooses to include and remove Nash’s best friend Charles (in the form of the actor).
Nash is preparing a bath for his baby son, while wife Alicia is outside tending to the washing outside. But because Nash suffers from schizophrenia, he is delusional and believes his friend Charles is watching the baby. For the viewer, all that is witnessed is the baby lying in the bath, crying...
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