A Beautiful Mind Review
A Beautiful Mind
13 Dec 2001
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Nash’s mutterings after he loses the board game
(along the lines of “the game is flawed,” “I had the first move, I should have won”) are in reference to “Game Theory,” the economic theory that John Nash is probably most famous for
As per Ron Howard
During filming, Ron Howard decided that Nash’s delusions should always be introduced first audibly and then visually. This provides a clue for the audience and establishes the delusions from Nash’s point of view.
Professor Peyton Young..
..was interviewed on the BBC radio programme “More or Less”. He had dinner with John and Alicia Nash the night the movie opened and asked John Nash what he thought of it. He said “I liked it a lot. But it wasn’t me.”
The problem that John Nash writes on the blackboard..
in his lecture is a real one (unlike in other movies, where math on boards is usually either too simple or fake). There is an important theorem in mathematical physics that directly says the answer to this is 1. Later, when he discusses the problem with Alicia Nash, he makes additional restrictions for the solution, without which the problem is much harder, so he is pretty confident she didn’t solve it.
Akiva Goldsman’s creative take on the project was..
to avoid having viewers understand they are viewing an alternate reality until a specific point in the film. This was done to rob the viewers of their understanding, to mimic how Nash comprehended his experiences. Ron Howard agreed to direct the film based on the first draft. He asked Goldsman to emphasize the love story of Nash and his wife; she was critical to his being able to continue living at home.
Nash’s mental epiphanies
The filmmakers developed a technique to represent Nash’s mental epiphanies. Mathematicians described to them such moments as a sense of “the smoke clearing”, “flashes of light” and “everything coming together”, so the filmmakers used a flash of light appearing over an object or person to signify Nash’s creativity at work
Concept of high-level mathematics being less about numbers and solutions, and more akin to a kaleidoscope
A running discussion between Ron Howard and James Horner was the concept of high-level mathematics being less about numbers and solutions, and more akin to a kaleidoscope, in that the ideas evolve and change. After the first screening of the film, Horner told Howard: “I see changes occurring like fast-moving weather systems.” He chose it as another theme to connect to Nash’s ever-changing character.
As per Rusell Crowe
John Nash visited the set, and Russell Crowe said later that he had been fascinated by the way he moved his hands, and he had tried to do the same thing in the movie. He thought it would help him get into the character.
RT/Meta Critic Review
Crowe’s interpretation of this tortured genius is textured and complex.