A Beautiful Mind. (unboxed spoilers)

I watched this again today. It’s something like the fourth time and I find myself questioning which bits were real and which bits were in his mind.

Was the visit to the Pentagon real?

Were there really several men holding John down when the doctor injected him?
A few times John is momentarily distracted by three people running somewhere (to class I presume) were they real?
Did anyone wonder why the pigeons didn’t fly away when the little girl (forget her name) was running in the field the first time they saw the film? (I didn’t after four viewings. I had to watch the sfx extra to find out. Of course it’s because she’s not real)
Did the real John Nash have immaginary friends? I strongly suspect that is a fabrication of the film. I hear his condition took the form of an obsession with patterns, and little else.

I don’t remember any from the book. I also don’t remember him fantasizing about going to the Pentagon. He did try to find secret messages in newspapers, so the scene with all the papers on the wall was fairly accurate.

I thought the movie rather dreadful in its changing things myself. Alicia actually did divorce him, but took him back and lived with him for years in Princeton Junction before he recovered. She as actually more heroic in real life than in the movie.

Considering Nash and John Moore, Alicia must have some amazing attraction for mathematicians. I never saw it myself. :slight_smile:

I’ve heard that the imaginary roommate was pretty much a total fabrication. Schizophrenic hallucinations rarely take such a consistent form. I haven’t read Nash’s biography but apparently while Nash had false memories of nonexistent people he did not “see” them. It did make for good drama though. (I also didn’t catch the girl and the pigeons–I noticed that they weren’t moving but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. The imaginary person reveal was one of the few times a movie’s really shocked me.)

When you mentioned ‘memories of nonexistent people’ you reminded me of a schizophrenic person I once knew (the mother of a former childhood friend. The mother being a friend of my own mother) She had memories that her former husband was the suspect in a local murder. I remember my mother telling me about this and how shocked I felt, that a mental disability could make people have controversial false memories like that.

According to Sylvia Nasar’s biogrpahy of Nash, he hallucinated that he was in contact with extraterrestrials. Ron Howard filmed the earthilings that his “Nash” hallucinated (Partcher, Charles and Marcie) because filming the non-earthling life forms would have seemed so improbable that we would have suspected that Nash was imagining things much sooner.

Real, up to a point. Once he’s taken to the “secret lab”, even before as he talks with Big Brother… imagined. The code breaking: real.

Yes, and it was HOT!



Real. He’s afraid, though, he’s going to run in to some of his “friends”.

No, I am that dumb. :frowning:

Some of the stuff the real Nash did: figure patterns in publications, to the extent he became convinced a picture of Pope John XXIII was, in fact, a picture of himself. He saw a lot of people in red ties, thinking them to be either commie spies or CIA agents (can’t remember, though). For some time, he sought to become a citizen of the world, was mocked in his trips around Europe and, unexplicably, crossed the Berlin wall. He discontinued his medication because he “stopped hearing voices”. If the book is to be trusted, of course.

I love both the film’s Nash and the biography’s. Two completely different species, but fascinating nonetheless.

All of the schizophrenic hallucinations are made up for the movie. Nash imagined a lot of strange conspiracies and such, but he didn’t have visual hallucinations. Nash never did any codebreaking. His only classified work was at the Rand Corporation, where he did game theoretic work on nuclear wargaming. He lost that job several years before he became schizophrenic. He didn’t become schizophrenic till he was 30.

There are so many things that were made up for the movie that it would take a long, long thread to explain them all. We’ve done this several times before. Do a search for those threads. Or just read the book.

Am I the only one here who tried to read the book and found it mindnumbingly boring?

LorieSmurf, I forced myself to finish the book. However, I, too, thought it was an incredibly dull read. I give the screenwriter credit for turning the lifeless book into such a compelling (though fictionalized) movie.

I thought it was a great read, but I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone. There are long stretches of the book that talk about Nash’s mathematical work, stretches that detail his illness, stretches that go into his marriage and family life, etc. Someone without any interest or background in math could easily become bored or confused by the math parts, for example.

+1 - I really enjoyed the book, but would not argue with someone who didn’t. It did, however, make the “Ron Howard-ificiation” of the film incredibly hard to take. The movie has so little in common with the book that it should have had a different title and make NO claims on being based on an actual life. As most, it might be able to claim “inspired by” but that is about it.