“A Beautiful Mind” depicts the journey of John Forbes Nash Jr., a brilliant mathematician, during his time at Princeton University and his ongoing struggle with mental illness. Unlike his peers, Nash does not attempt to assimilate into the social circle of his fellow colleagues, recognizing that he is not favoured. As an introverted individual, he finds solace in his friendship with his roommate, Charles. While the initial part of the film focuses on Nash’s exceptional mathematical abilities, the latter part illustrates the detrimental effects of his mental illness on his brilliant mind.
During his time teaching at MIT, Nash formed a relationship with one of his students, Alicia Larde, and they eventually married. Simultaneously, the U.S. government enlisted Nash’s help in deciphering codes which led him to become involved in a disturbing conspiracy. While reading newspapers, Nash frequently encountered codes that increased his popularity and made him highly sought after by the government. Whenever he successfully decoded a message, he would discreetly send it to a specific house and place it in a mailbox. However, one day he and his government colleague William Parcher were chased and attacked by unidentified individuals.
Nash developed a state of paranoia, constantly surveilling the windows and extinguishing the lights in their home. He chose not to disclose the underlying cause of this behavior to Alicia, who was concurrently pregnant. While attending MIT, he encountered Charles, accompanied by Marci, Charles’ niece. Nash intended to communicate what had transpired but was interrupted by a psychiatrist, who escorted him to a mental institution amidst his discourse. Positioned in the psychiatrist’s office, Nash fixated on Charles, accusing him of orchestrating his admission to the hospital. However, Charles was absent.
Nash experienced hallucinations and delusions, leading him to perceive and communicate with individuals that existed solely in his mind. These included the military operation, code breaking activities, Charles, Marci, and Parcher. Consequently, he was admitted to a hospital for treatment while Alicia faithfully stood by his side during this challenging period. Eventually, Nash and Alicia built a life together with their son. Despite this hopeful development, Alicia continued administering his medication daily in the hope of further improvement. Unfortunately, one day inside an empty house, Alicia made a disheartening discovery: Nash had relapsed into his obsession with code breaking work and delusions.
And so, Nash was readmitted to the hospital. After two months, he went to Princeton to study. Although he could still perceive Charles, Marci, and Parcher, he made an effort to disregard them. Nash’s family urged him to recover and resume normal functioning. Despite the challenges posed by his mental illness, he found the strength to persevere. He demonstrated his passion for mathematics by teaching students once again and engaging in social interactions. One remarkable accomplishment he achieved due to his exceptional intellect was receiving the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994.