The story of the film is devoted to what can be evaluated as a heroic life story of an outstanding mathematician John Forbes Nash, haunted by both his genius and manifestations of insanity so prominently coexisting in him. On this background, a careful viewer can discern in the film fine elements characteristic to several psychological concepts and theories, such as for instance a depiction on the concrete example of Nash of various symptoms related to a psychiatric condition of schizophrenia, the involvement of the films protagonist into social relationships network that often challenges his mental disorder, and the psychological processes associated with what is known as cognitive dissonance.
The film "A Beautiful Mind" opens when John Forbes Nash (Russell Crowe) is struggling to come up with some original concept at Princeton. We can immediately see the sign of genius in him, but at the same time it is clearly visible that Nash is often weird, uneasy in terms of social interaction, and painfully competitive. In fact, even though John has friendly relationships with several students, his only faithful friend is his roommate Charles. After some time, the mathematician comes close to elaboration of an original, pioneering and promising approach to game theory, and his successful scientific future seems warranted. John obtains a position at MIT, and gets involved into a hush-hush governmental program aimed at code-breaking research. During his such a secretive occupation, Nash is dealing with William Parcher, a top-level governmental agent who attempts to employ Nashs talents for national security tasks. At MIT Nash gets acquainted with Alicia (Jennifer Connelly), a lovely and remarkable student. They marry eventually, but their happy life gets under the threat when John is diagnosed with schizophrenia and is apparently falling into insanity. In a psychiatric hospital Nash undergoes therapy through electroshock to get rid of his delusions, but he nevertheless finds it next to impossible to work or be a proper husband. Besides, as soon as he ceases to take his medication, the delusions come back. But despite all that, his wife Alicia provides a great support to him as he does not want to be again hospitalized, and with time John learns how to control his delusions. Finally, when John Nash is granted a Nobel Prize in economics he can be said to have gained the greatest victory of his life, but the one which he could hardly achieve without the love and help of Alicia.
Psychological concept #1
Perhaps the most stunning display that the film provides is that of a debilitating condition of a person suffering from schizophrenia, a psychiatric term that is used to describe a mental disorder with various symptoms that in combination lead to changes in the reality perception and to consequent impairments in common social functions of an affected person. The very word