I'd be lying to say that A Beautiful Mind didn't affect me in a strong way. Rather than coerce me into rethinking my own life, though, I'd say it left me glancing around my room in the dark like a little kid in fits of paranoia, afraid that I was going to see something or someone that wasn't really there. I simply haven't been this spooked by a movie in several years. And unfortunately, Monsters Inc. can't reach me since I have no closet :)
Recommend this product?
I don't think it really intended to be a horrifying movie, and maybe just with my life being where it is right now, I may be biased. The power of the human mind is a phenomenal, and largely underestimated, thing. The movie has no problem demonstrating that to its audience. But right there in the middle, I found myself in this "lost territory" of sorts and I don't know why, but it scared the living bejesus out of me. Maybe I, too, underestimated the mind more than I realized. I do recommend the movie, but only because I acknowledge the possibility that I may have taken it the wrong way.
John Nash (Russell Crowe) is the world's greatest genius, a natural codebreaker and a wizard at mathematics. Kind of like George Malley, the character played by John Travolta in Phenomenon, except that John Nash has the natural talent. He just has to find it. And of course, it's only a matter of time once he does, before the government catches wind of his ability and tries to use him to decipher some Russian codes that lead to the whereabouts of an atomic bomb set somewhere in Minnesota.
One day, you're teaching at Princeton, next day you're delivering classified papers to a mansion, getting in by way of codes that are sent to you through a chip planted inside your wrist. On top of that, you're sworn to secrecy about the whole thing. As City High might ask, "What would you do?" Inquiring minds want to know.
Well, John does have one advantage going for him. He's an antisocial kind of person, so he has no close friends with whom he might feel tempted to share what he knows. Well, of course, luck would have it, the girl of his dreams (Jennifer Connelly) steps into his life, and it's bye bye logic and reason.
Judging by the preview, I figured this was it, this was pretty much what the movie was going to be about. Well, there is a lot more to it than just this. I had no idea there was going to be so much more to it.
Hola, nice to meet ya!
John Nash's character is pretty much a complete putz when it comes to matters of the heart. He even confesses to his friend, the "prodigal roommate", that he believes when he was born, he was given two helpings of brain and only a half a helping of heart. And here he is, pushing his thirties with no love life to speak of, ever. It's most likely because he believes that the whole growth of a relationship is based around a series of equations that eventually lead to one grand cum..ahem, sum. You know. And he thinks well why bother with the equations if you're going to end up at the same result either way? He is pretty much straightforward about this to any girl he meets. It seems a slap in the face is nothing new to him.
Jennifer Connelly's character, on the other hand, there really isn't much to know about her. She is just the epitome of normal. She wasn't abused as a kid, she doesn't have instinctive feelings of distrust evoked by previous boyfriends, she doesn't seem to be lonely. She's just kind of there, to be her smart and friendly (and hot) self. For the most part, Crowe gets to do the majority of the acting, leaving her to play backseat with the re-acting. Nonetheless, she does a marvelous job of it.
So how'd it make ya feel?
That's the crazy thing. I actually found the first third or so of this 145-minute movie to be pretty boring. When the government started getting involved, then it started getting interesting. Then the plot took a twist that could squeeze water from a stone in the Sahara. It went from interesting to downright disturbing.
Certain shots kept creeping back into my head as I lay in the darkness in my bed, trying to concentrate on other things. The shot of the baby about to drown in the bathtub, for one. Or the shot of the baby wailing away under Crowe's left arm, while he sits in a daze, hardly even aware (if at all) of what's happening. The scene where he tries to dig the implanted chip out of his wrist. (Gross!!) The scene in the psychiatric hospital where they strap him down and do whatever it is they do that causes him to go into those violent convulsions. (I know this is fairly common, so forgive my undeniable stupidity.) I guess the movie had me in a state of mind where I couldn't help but wonder, what was going through his mind at that moment? It was terrifying to imagine.
The whole deal with Nash's mathematical theories and how they were applied to the world to make it a more efficient place were sort of interesting. Most people, though, myself included, are just going to see a bunch of numbers, letters, parentheses and other mathematical signs. Unless you really understand how the theories themselves applied to whatever work or activity they were making more efficient, you're probably not going to care too much about it. Fortunately they don't try too hard to make you understand how. They just let the story slide, and eventually, snip snap, this is it, fifty years later, he did it. End of story.
Nash does eventually arrive at the conclusion that the "equations of Love" are the only place where any logic or reason can be found. While I'm always glad to see Love get a good rap out there, I really don't like those words "logic" and "reason". I'd prefer to think that the equations of Love are the only place where logic and reason need not be found.
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