Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Beautiful Mind

Reyes, Ronald Angelo A.

The film “A Beautiful Mind” is a film adapted from Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Services recipient, and mathematician, Mr. John Forbes Nash, Jr. of Prince University. The film was largely focused in his schizophrenia’s effect on his entire life, including his family, friends, and career. Among other things highlighted in the film was his contribution in the field of economics, particularly, about the time he formulated the game theory in a pub early in his career as a mathematician in Princeton University.

Personally, the film became one of my favourite movies of all time when I watched in our class. I have watched documentaries about some famous scientists before, and I though this film will be the same like the others. As it turns out, this is way better. The film’s portrayal of Nash’s life changed my view on schizophrenia. I’ve always thought that schizophrenia was not so bad but after seeing how Nash’s life was deeply corrupted by the disorder, I think schizophrenia is a largely under-advocated mental disorder. The film also enlightened me on the inhumane practices to treat the disorder and its alternatives. It left me wondering however whether brutal practices such as what was shown in the film is still being practiced in our modern world.

Nash’s life was a swirling vortex of entropy but in the middle of that chaos, he found his guiding light. In the film, his illusions helped him pass through some phases of his life, starting with his drunk roommate. Later, his illusions became more complex, and they became more dangerous. At some point, it led him to hurt his wife and child. If left unattended, Nash, would have went really crazy. Almost always, it was shown that his illusions can only be present when he is stressed. The worst thing happened that can happen to a person with a brilliant mind like him is that his reality was destroyed when he learned the truth about the illusions he is seeing. The illusions present while he is with his wife is a very rare occurrence. In real life however, it was noted that his illusions only started when his wife got pregnant. It is also noteworthy that his illusion were only voices and not visual images. For me, it is very hard to digest. It is very scary to be hearing voices only myself can hear.

His recovery from the destruction of his reality is the most memorable part of the film. The standard practices might be inhumane. If I were to suffer that much, I don’t think I can ever handle it. Much more, what amazed me is how his wife stayed by his side after everything he did and after learning how hopeless his condition was. It was his wife that was his guiding light that led him through the out of the chaos, back to sanity. When Nash dedicated his attention to his wife and not to his work, everything about their life as a couple became better. He gained friends, he was acknowledged by his colleagues, and he lived a long life someone with his condition would find unbearable.

To me he is an inspiration which tells us that nothing can hinder us in the pursuit of knowledge, not even those created by our minds.

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