Study Guide

A Beautiful Mind Production Design

Production Design

Not a First Person Perspective…But Definitely Limited

This is a pretty conventional movie, in terms of cinematography, setting, overall look, and so on. However, the movie does play with narrative POV a bit—and we don't realize it until halfway through the story.

It's quite the trick, actually. You see, John has all these peeps and situations in his life that…well, they aren't exactly real. And we don't know that because, unbeknownst to us, we're not just seeing the movie's events along with John—nope, we're seeing it through his perspective.

So, for a while, we believe that there's a guy named Charles who becomes John's best friend (and who has a niece named Marcee—also imaginary) and a Department of Defense agent named Parcher who hires John to do some super-secret government work.

Sure, the storyline gets increasingly outrageous, with car chases and shoot outs, but it takes Dr. Rosen arriving on the scene to clarify what's going on: everything we thought we thought we knew about John's world is wrong.

Well, not literally everything, but a lot.

It's a pretty cool device, if you ask us. The filmmakers really depend on our willingness as viewers to just kind of tag along with the protagonist and get invested in his/her perspective. As a result, we get to enjoy a pretty awesome twist.

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