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A Beautiful Mind

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A Beautiful Mind

As the story unfolds, Nash is able to work through his illness to (in his words) "matter" in the world. This film is essentially a story of how a brilliant man was able to live with the vicissitudes of a debilitating mental illness to attain a true sense of accomplishment, or some would say, even a sense of greatness.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

At the beginning of the film, John Nash arrives as a new graduate student at Princeton University. He is a recipient of the prestigious Carnegie Prize for mathematics. He meets his roommate Charles, a literature student, who soon becomes his best friend. He also meets a group of other promising math and science graduate students, Martin Hansen, Sol, and Bender, with whom he strikes up an awkward friendship.

The first part of the film establishes Nash's intellectual stamina and his propensity to be too outspoken in his social life. He admits that he is better with numbers than people, saying, "I don't like them much, and they don't much like me." He sometimes goes out to a bar with his fellow students to try to meet women, but is always unsuccessful. However, the experience is what ultimately inspires his fruitful work in the concept of governing dynamics, a theory in mathematical economics. After the conclusion of Nash's studies as a student at Princeton, he accepts a prestigious appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with his friends Sol and Bender. It is while at this post that he meets Alicia, a student with whom he falls in love and eventually marries. While at Princeton, Nash runs into his former roommate Charles and meets Charles's young niece Marcee. He also encounters a mysterious Department of Defense agent, William Parcher. Nash is invited to a United States Department of Defense facility (The Pentagon) to crack a complex encryption of an enemy telecommunication. Nash is able to decipher the code mentally. Parcher observes Nash's performance from above, while partially concealed behind a screen. (His general appearance and behaviour is similar to that of the men in black.) Parcher later encourages Nash to look for patterns in magazines and newspapers, ostensibly to thwart a Soviet plot. After a harrowing chase scene and exchange of gunfire, Nash becomes increasingly paranoid and begins to behave erratically.

Russell Crowe as John NashAfter observing this erratic behavior, Sol follows Nash during one of his late night drops off "top secret Soviet codes". Sol sees Nash place the documents into a drop-box at a long empty building, and reports this behaviour to Nash's superiors. He sees that he is being watched during a lecture. Caught trying to flee, he is forcibly sedated and sent to a psychiatric facility. Initially, Nash's internment seemed like confirmation of his belief that the Soviets were trying to extract information from him, and that getting picked up by the officials of that psychiatric facility was a kidnapping by Soviet agents.

Alicia, desperate to help her husband, visits the drop-box and retrieves the never-opened "top secret" documents that Nash delivered there. When confronted with this evidence, Nash is finally convinced that he has been hallucinating. The Department of Defense agent William Parcher and Nash's secret assignment to decode

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