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A Beautiful Mind

Apparently, Man of Steel was my first Russell Crowe movie (I know, right? I need to remedy this right away). Of the very few movies of his I've seen, I have not enjoyed a performance as much as I did in A Beautiful Mind. His performance, complimented by the writing, was riveting. As each scene progressed, you wouldn't have an inkling of the twist, and when it does, the earlier scenes raise questions and support the latter sequences of the film.

A Beautiful Mind tackles the life of John Nash, a brilliant mathematician, and his life's scars. We first encounter him during graduate school, where he produced his original idea, the idea that would make him stand out among his peers. Nash wasn't very particular with people; his personality seems off-putting and rather blunt, but he is an acquired taste. He continued on with his work, getting recognized for efforts, and even managing to marry someone who was enamored with him. Everything in his life seems to be going great for him, until one incident leads to his unfortunate diagnose, and his life sort of stumbles from there. 

What made the film intriguing was that there was no hint to that big revelation; it might be confusing at first, but then it actually becomes real. The lines between the two realities are finally blurred enough for us to see Nash in a different light, to see Nash as how people around him see him. The writing doesn't just dump all the information all at once, it gives transition to make us see the two realities Nash has been living in, and to finally accept that this was happening. 

As I've mentioned, I enjoyed Crowe's performance here. He was awkward, and confident, and proud. He was also scornful, reluctant, doubtful. With John Nash, Crowe was able to embody a range of emotions in a span of hours, transforming his character into different personalities at the certain age of his life. I've usually seen him in movies where he's a stoic character, but it was here that he was able to channel a variety of emotions that he usually doesn't get to do. It also helps that he was complimented by a wonderful cast. Jennifer Connelly was perfectly cast as Nash's wife. Her portrayal was strong, and yet there is weakness inside her. Crowe and Connelly had onscreen chemistry, and their characters were complimentary of each other. Then there's Ed Harris and Paul Bethany, who also gave great performances. Bethany's character was complex; he was the anti-Nash. Unlike Harris, Bethany was given more to work with, and he nails his performance.

The score of the film was quite the stand out. From the first piece, I would have guessed I was watching a fantasy film. It was playful, curious. I would have thought that as the film proceeds, the score will naturally get darker. But it was the hopeful pieces that quite stood out, and it very much complimented the film. The film also covered some powerful scenes, but it was the pen scene that really made all emotions fly out. It was quite a touching tribute, as well as his speech at the final scenes of the film. 

A Beautiful Mind was an entirely wonderful film, but something was tugging me that I could not give it a perfect 10. It was beautiful, the performances were brilliant, the writing was perfect. I think it was missing something, a factor that makes the film stand out through the test of time, that factor that elevates it to a certain status when it comes to films. Something that makes it unforgettable, I think. 

Final Word: Amazing performances by Crowe, Connelly, and the rest of the cast involved.

Cast: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly
Director: Ron Howard
Year: 2001


  1. A Beautiful Mind has some terrific performances, but I found it way too emotionally manipulative, which left a distasteful feel in my mouth.
    Still, great performances!

    1. It was a bit on the emotional side, but Crowe and Connelly were terrific.


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