Friday, April 4, 2008

Skipping Ahead in Class

So we haven’t watched “A Beautiful Mind” yet but that’s what I’m going to post my blog about. This post will contain spoilers so if you haven’t seen the movie and just want to follow it in class then feel free to skip this post this week.

The movie follows the life of John Nash who revolutionized the game theory aspect of economics. The movie starts with his life as a mathematics graduate at Princeton University. From the start it is apparent that he isn’t one to follow rules and guidelines as he shows no interest in attending classes because he believes them almost to be below his intellect. Instead he spends his years at Princeton attempting to solve some “original idea.” He believes this is the key to making himself known. He discovers his idea and signs with a company so that he teaches at MIT and gets paid to do his research. From the beginning of the movie he seems eccentric but only in the sense that one would expect from someone who is driven to achieve a life absorbed in numbers, economics, and theory. He has a believable appointment with the government where he helps them crack a code transmitted by Russians during the era of the Cold War.

This event seems to mark his life spiraling out of control as from then on he believes himself to be working for the government helping them crack codes in journals and magazines and papers that contain hidden messages from the Russians. He develops serious paranoia to the point that his friends and family step in to get him psychiatric help. It is only then that they discover his schizophrenia. Not only has he been imagining all of the help he has been doing for the government but also the audience discovers his roommate from Princeton and his daughter was imagined as well. He was able to get away with his obvious schizophrenia for so long because no one questioned that he would be doing top secret work for the government. He spends the next few years in control because of medicine but relapses again when he stops taking his pills to attempt to lead a normal life with his wife.

The movie ends on a happy note, almost too happy of a note but he is able to conquer his schizophrenia on his own and ends up winning prizes for his work in economics. Everything works out in the end and amazingly he still keeps the girl (in the movie). This being the Hollywood take on the true destructive, depressing insane life of John Nash.

1 comment:

Sterbenz said...

I must say that is a very good summary of the movie. i thought you were going to add in some of the stuff that wasn't in the movie, but is in the book. like his other son and the other schools he worked at.