Comparison and Contrast in Films, two films A Beautiful Mind and the Truman Show





Comparison and Contrast in Films, two films A Beautiful Mind and the Truman ShowThis paper posits to explore two films with the intention to provide a comparison between the two films A Beautiful Mind and the Truman Show.


While the film A Beautiful Mind underscores the postmodern characteristics such as Minimalist Musical Method, while the Truman Show underscores characteristics such as magical realism, the two films equally underscore the postmodern characteristic of paranoia. It is evident that by juxtaposing the two films that though humanity may be frail it bears the capacity to triumph over infirmity.

A Beautiful Mind

Drama’s classic view is that it depends on the willingness of the audience to deliberately suspend their skepticism in a story that is unbelievable by normal standards. In the movie, Nash the major character attained his mathematics Ph.D. at an age in which by normal standards, he should have earned his undergraduate degree. As a graduate scholar, and afterward as an assistant professor, Nash contributed immensely to pure mathematics as well as to economic theory in the research that he conducted. The input that he made in these fields is witnessed extremely few times in every decade. Nash attained the threshold of recognition as a leading authority in mathematics in the global arena before he attained 30 years of age. However, quite unexpectedly and at the nick of time, when his career in mathematics was flourishing, Nash’s behavior changed. His behavior became extremely bizarre that, against his will, he was taken into a mental institution where he was found to be schizophrenic.

Although Nash had a number of provisional remissions in which he continued to offer outstanding contributions in regard to mathematics, Nash spent the largest part of the next thirty years as a completely dysfunctional person. Extraordinarily, in the seventh decade of his existence his psychological condition has substantially and steadily improved. Concomitantly the complete magnitude of the contribution Nash made to economic theory becomes clear further than a close-knit tight research society of specialists. This perceptive led to Nash being appointed for the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics together with two economists who had expanded one of his numerous insights.

In preferring Nash as her theme, Nasar forgoes the expository benefit that a biographer of a significant scientist typically enjoys. Characteristically such a scientist has the inspiration that defines an innovative approach to a subject, and also champions that inspiration against the antagonism of the traditionalist faction of a scientific discipline. Such a scientist also mentors a cluster of followers who deepen its applicability, and influence. In several cases, such a scientist establishes a “school,” that comprises of a number of university departments as well as scientific journals that advocate the innovative approach, which offers institutional support for the inspiration as a continuing paradigm. As a consequence, narrating the life of a significant scientist tends to offer the biographer with the prospect to educate readers much in relation to the science itself. Even though John Nash has had unparalleled, creative ideas in numerous fields, he has had no noteworthy role in their later extension or propagation.

Further than being a well-narrated chronicle of an individual, the film has two universal themes. These themes are not obviously interrelated but develop into being harmonizing. One theme concerns the moral significance of an individual. Two schools of thought that run in much of Western philosophy, in relation to this subject are that, individuals deserve moral reverence because of their judiciousness, as well as, in reciprocity for their labors to accord reverence to others. However, Nash appears to have not been as much consistent as the majority of other persons in his efforts to grant reverence to others. Nash had ceased being consistently rational in action or thought by the time he attained 30 years of age. Therefore, these schools of thought do not mean much in the case of Nash. The other universal theme of the film is the connection between a scientific community and a troubled affiliate of that community. More precisely, a couple of scientific communities, economics and mathematics are described.

In synopsis, this is a commendably researched as well as highly comprehensible biography of somebody whose existence merits the considerable endeavor made in studying it. The movie is worth watching, both to study Nash as an individual and also considering the general concerns that the effort to understand him raises.


It would be accurate to regard the movie, The Truman Show as a metaphor itself since it is saturated with metaphors. This film seeks to inspire its audience by connecting the life of an individual to their personal lives by means of the utilization of metaphors. Truman is the major character, and he is the celebrity of a realty T.V show. The major problem is that Truman does not realize that his life is the focus of a T.V show. Truman lives in an extremely large studio that encloses the populace and the land of a little island city referred to as Seahaven. His entire day his existence is broadcast live to all humanity.

In order to maintain the show running, the reality show team constantly has to find ways to prevent him from comprehending that, his entire life revolves around a T.V. show. The team constantly has to prevent him from leaving the city. The movie’s plot occurs when Truman decides that nobody will prevent him from realizing his dreams, or becoming a champion. He therefore takes the audience on his expedition that follows in tandem with that resolution.

There are three foremost themes all through the movie. The first, main theme is a world inside a world, or the big picture. Given that Truman lives within a T.V studio and does not realize that the outer world exists, he is unable to grasp the big picture. However, the audience relates to this, since all humanity has been striving to fathom the meaning of its existence on earth. The second main theme in the film is fear, in that, individuals require to prevail over their fears, in order for them to accomplish their respective goals or dreams. Seahaven is an island and Truman is frightened of the water, and in order to see if there is something else to existence, Truman must overcome his fear. The sea in this movie is also a metaphor in relation to all the barriers that seek to hinder someone.

The third theme is perseverance that bears numerous names including determination, commitment, consistency, dedication, or never relinquish or quitting. Never quitting is the unconditional toughest resolution that a human being may have since it means that, a person must conquer fear. Crossing the ocean takes a tremendous perseverance to ultimately get past all the barriers and reach the shoreline where the dreams and goals are positioned.

In summary, Truman senses that there must be something more to existence that he cannot comprehend. He therefore decides that all those fears that must have kept him from exiting Seahaven and realizing his dreams will not stop him any longer. Due to his absolute determination Truman discovers the way out of this studio and into an actual world. Truman is the True Man since he does not consent to the world to decide on his identity, but rather Truman makes the decision concerning his identity.

Minimalist Musical Method. The two films employ the minimalist musical method, albeit in different levels. In A Beautiful mind, there are several scenes whereby the protagonist is absorbed in an algebraic problem and the music is inclined in the direction of minimalism, with the rhythmic nature celebrating the zeal of mathematics as well as patterns. Minimalist music entails a regular and steady pulse and it is repetition-based, but not melodiously based. It also characteristically has a narrow dynamic contrast. In the Truman Show, it is employed at a lesser degree of effectiveness. This is evident when Ed Harris’ world begins to collapse as Truman gets on his sea escape, whereby, the musical apocalypse is purposefully overstated.

Paranoia. The two films employ paranoia albeit in different degrees in that, contemporary society cannot be understood or explained. In A Beautiful Mind, John Nash who is the protagonist is taken into a mental institution where he still continues his scholarly contribution in the fields of economics and mathematics. His personality is extremely strange in that, at the same time he is considered as a completely dysfunctional person not withstanding his scholarly achievements. There is an element of fear in relation to the people around him, who fail to understand him. Consequently, he is labeled as not as much consistent as the majority of other persons in his efforts to grant reverence to others. This is also the case in regard to Truman, in that even as Truman fears the sea, the people around him are in fear that Truman may eventually realize that there is a world outside of Seahaven.

Magical Realism. The Truman Show employs magical realism whereby Truman sees the figurative sea literally. By definition, magical realism is where the distinctly uncommon or magical happens frequently, but is treated and seen by the characters as a daily occurrence. The Truman show is a good illustration of this whereby the author recounts the chronicle from the perspective of Truman, who perceives the figurative literally. However, the film, A Beautiful Mind does not clearly employ magical realism effectively.

Setting. The effectiveness of The Truman Show is found in that it works as a metaphor concerning the disingenuousness of values as well as life itself. Truman’s wife occasionally throws items, like kitchen appliances as well as low-fat cocoa, to concealed cameras under the disguise of conversation. At the same time, Seahaven is depicted as grotesquely hygienic, homogenized, well-ordered, pasteurized, and ordinary. Its false citizens are by design uncurious concerning apparently anything, as they going on with their lives with a worryingly self-satisfied complacency concerning their own whitewashed society. Truman’s interest in exploration and travel is constantly depressed. And except for the theatrical trauma of the demise of Truman’s father, Truman’s life is alarmingly painless.

On the other hand, in regard to A Beautiful Mind, although the film has several weaknesses, it is an influential and powerful film that should be employed in psychiatric education. The most appropriate audiences may be families, patients, as well as the general community, who will acquire an excellent introduction to schizophrenia. The film may be suggested for patients struggling with dissuasion concerning recovery. This film as a self-help psycho-educational instrument can have considerable benefits. In addition, the film can demonstrate how delusion develops, how patients can believe such thoughts as true, and how symptoms can destroy their lives as well as the lives of their friends and family.


It is apparent that the issue of human frailty as well as the ability within the human mind to triumph over frailty is clearly brought out in the two films. In A Beautiful Mind, the protagonist could well be a lawyer, a construction worker, or a doctor, but the essence of the narrative would remain the same. The characteristics employed in the two movies help to decipher the message in the two films that relates to entrapment, whereby belief creates limitations. In the case of Truman, he believes that the world surrounding him is real and by no means challenged his life based on that postulation.