The mind is such a merciless dictator. It gives you choices, and just as you
reach out, withdraws them within the blink of an eye. It mars you as quickly and
thoroughly as it makes you, and ultimately subjugates you to a slave - a slave
to itself and its sporting whims and fancies.
It can only be a genius, a prodigy with an astute understanding of the mind and its mechanics, who can rise above his mind. Or climb over the horse and take the reins firmly into hand, as Freud would have described it. This transition from a slave to the master is not a painless one. It is a grueling and exhausting journey - vanquishing an inertial spirit and burning down its defenses, and dousing a deathly fatigue with the zeal for life.
But when the man rises from these almost-ashes, what would he be like? Like Russell Crowe. Or John Forbes Nash Jr - a man who proves matter can triumph over the mind, that a beautiful mind can be restored to its complete glory.
Based on the biographical work of Sylvia Nasar on Nobel winner John Nash and winner of four Academy Awards, A Beautiful Mind is for all those who would have wondered about the human mind at one time or the other, in one form or other.
A mathematician whose genius smolders within himself and occasionally expresses itself in equations scribbled on windowpanes and mirrors, is brought down to his knees by paranoid schizophrenia. The illness and its consequent treatment leave him numbed, helpless, incapacitated... but not defeated. A moment comes when he decides enough is enough, and slowly stretches his fingers out and explores his dormant strengths and reaches out - to touch the stars.
excels himself in this analytical masterpiece. Crowe looks as though he has almost
internalized the mannerisms, the twitches and the quirks of the real Nash, and
his superlative performance makes you hold your breath and then traverse through
the mental maze. Jennifer Connelly is pretty, and beautifully underplays the supportive
wife. Ed Harris is his usual stoic self.
The film is a study on the vagaries of the mind, and probably helps those who
face paranoid schizophrenia in real life understand the delusions, the mood swings,
and the feeling of captivity within their minds and its magnitude, and cope better.
And see the beauty of the mind.