Film Analysis: Beautiful Mind

1577 words - 6 pages

Movies and other forms of popular entertainment sources have often presented varied information and as well as misinformation about schizophrenia, most specifically in regard to its negative portrayals, which can lead to confused public opinion. In summary, majority of movies and popular entrainment media sources portrays people with schizophrenia as violent and with homicidal and suicide thoughts. In addition, most characters in these media sources are portrayed as Caucasians, males, and with supernatural abilities (Gaebel, 2011).
In the movie A Beautiful Mind, schizophrenia is portrayed as a very severe and debilitating mental condition that makes it difficult for the affected individual to think logically or behave normally. The movie portrays schizophrenia as a split personality or multiple personality disorder, and this is contrary to reality that perceives schizophrenia as psychoses that result from disruption of the normal balance of emotions and thinking (Mueser & Jeste, 2008). The movie explains how a prodigy by the name John Nash develops the condition, how the condition progresses, and how his personal life is affected. The movie leaves a significant impact on the viewer especially when it depicts the severe signs and symptoms associated with schizophrenia (A beautiful Mind). Similar to reality and popular beliefs, this condition exhibits terrifying and dreadful symptoms that are characterized with hallucinations that lead the protagonist to create imaginary friends such as Parcher, Marcee, and Charles, and delusions that see him believing that America is under attack from the Soviet Union and he must decipher an encryption of an enemy’s intricate telecommunication (Michael, 2013). Just like in reality, this condition makes Nash isolate himself from others thus affecting his relationship with family and friends, makes him suspicious of everything, and people around him, and increased suicidal and violent behaviours that see him willing to take drugs and alcohol as a way of relieving his condition (Mueser & Jeste, 2008). Just like in reality, this movie does not identify any causal factors associated with schizophrenia, but its treatment and management are portrayed to work effectively with antipsychotic/ psychotropic medications and Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that makes the affected individual “to understand and appreciate his condition” (A beautiful Mind). Several inaccurate characterizations of schizophrenia in this movie relates to the fact that this condition does not affect males only but also females are affected, and apart from the positive symptoms of schizophrenia that are highlighted, the patient may also exhibit negative symptoms. It is also not advisable to keep or incarcerate the affected individuals in the hospital since the condition can easily be managed at home with adequate contribution of the family members (A beautiful Mind).
The Soloist on its part is a film that is based upon the true story of...

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