A Beautiful Young Mind is a beautiful, beautiful movie. It’s a movie which I can switch on any time I want and still feel all the emotions the first time around as strong and feel for the characters just as much.
A Beautiful Young Mind was originally a documentary “Beautiful Young Minds” which portrayed the selection process of the UK for the International Maths Olympiad (IMO); most of the children selected had some form of Autism, which the documentary links to increased mathematical ability. Then, seven years after the documentary, in 2014, Morgan Matthews, the director of the documentary put his head to make this movie, A Beautiful Young Mind, also called “X+Y” in the UK.
A Beautiful Young Mind follows one of the students in the documentary, Daniel Lightwing, who is named as Nathan Ellis in the movie and played by Asa Butterfield.
While the premise of A Beautiful Young Mind comes from maths, its true message is coping. Nathan Ellis coping with his autism and the sudden loss of his father in an accident. His mother, Julie Ellis, portrayed by Sally Hawkins, who must cope with her son’s autism, single handedly and the loss of her husband. Then the two of them having to cope with each other, with their relationship solely based on each other’s exterior, never truly going through the surface and understanding each other. Leading to Nathan getting angry over at times silly things, such as his food not being perfect and blaming his mother, unable to see her coping to raise him single handedly; Sally on the other hand at times losing her handle over her son’s outbursts, but primarily being supportive to him all throughout. Even though she cares for her son, and her son does love her, there is a gap between the two, caused by the death of Nathan’s father which Sally desperately tries to overcome.
As much as the movie is about Nathan’s autistic life and his confusions and problems, socially and emotionally, and his abilities, it is as much about a parent and their struggles to care for their child and give them the best, no matter what. It’s also about Julie, who is a single mother caring for her child the best she can, and trying and trying desperately to get through to her child; never giving up, like all parents.
Then there is Martin Humphreys, Nathan’s Maths teacher who teaches him maths and trains him. There is his story about coping with his disability and marijuana addiction and pill addiction and his struggles at coping with his life. And there is Zhang Mei, a Chinese girl Nathan meets at camp and falls in love with. How she must cope with the expectations her family has placed on her to be good at mathematics.
As much as the movie focuses on Nathan, it delves into these characters and shows that life is tough for everybody, not just a person who is autistic or who has a disability. And we always want the best or the people we love, and when somebody loves us, it adds values to us (I didn’t create this line. It’s from the movie and its delivery is so superb and brilliant, you feel it hit you.).
There is so much this movie teaches you about life. There is poignancy in this movie, from being singular, simple but at the same time uncompromising and avoiding clichéd tropes to make the characters relatable. This is a brilliant movie *Wink*.
This is a terrific movie. So many people going on about so many movies but rarely anybody I talk to has seen this movie; and more often than not, they always confuse this with A Beautiful Mind(I, with utmost frevor and bottom of my heart hatred hate them :D). This is a must watch movie, no matter how kiddish or simple it may seem.