Have you been astonished by the brightness of Beth Harmon, the main character in Queen’s Gambit? Taken into consideration how incredibly intelligent and unusually flawless her mind is, being in awe of her character is easy. Characters like her, especially female characters, do not appear that often in the movies. In the era of CGI, it has become especially difficult to grab the audience’s attention only with an engaging storyline. As a director, one might feel the need to have some kind of fictional storyline and CGI used in the movie to guarantee a fat profit.
Why are we drawn to stories of great minds?
There is something about the stories of bright minds that draws the audience to them. It can be the fact that an extraordinary mind is not a tangible good that can be purchased or obtained in any other way. Compared to beauty, which in most cases is a result of a fortunate mix of genes or numerous procedures available at our fingertips, the brilliance of someone’s brain can not be obtained so easily. Critics might say that intelligence can also be gained through arduous work, which is very true, but there is a fine line between being simply intelligent and having a brilliant mind.
Long story short characters like Beth Harmon are rare in contemporary cinematography. But if you would like to see more of her kind, you can take a look at the list which I have noted down for the lovers of characters with great minds and complex personalities. The scope of the list is only limited to Hollywood movies from the last two decades, hence it does not have a pretentious to be fully representative but simply consists of my personal favorites:
- Good Will Hunting
There is something about Robin Williams and Matt Damon’s duo in this movie besides the great storyline that keeps you captivated during the entire time that the movie runs. Williams who offers psychological help to brilliant but troubling Matt Damon is exactly what he needs to find himself and learn to fight with his demons. There are many similarities between the characters of Beth Harmon and Will, such as they both have complex personalities and troubling backgrounds, but other than that both storylines are authentic and splendid in their way.
- Talented Mr. Ripley
Matt Damon appears in this list twice, but I hope that does not make me look biased towards certain actors. More than the others, it’s just his movie choices that fit well in this category. Talented Mr. Rippley is a completely different genre from the above-mentioned movies. This thriller consisting of elements of crime and drama makes its audience on the edge of their seats. It could be easily grouped with other thriller movies if not the one detail about the protagonist which turns this movie into an unusually dazzling experience. Tom Ripley is not just a cunning criminal, but he is the one with flawless tactics and a faultless mind. Despite his crafty and shrewd behavior, it is almost impossible not to compliment his mind.
- A Beautiful Mind
Last but not least, A Beautiful Mind by Ron Howard and Russell Crow is a 2001 biography displaying some of the intrinsic details of the mind of a great mathematician John Nash who besides being a mathematical genius was struggling with mental health issues. The movie walks us through the ups and downs of his life. Professional achievements and personal downfalls, universal praise, and individual traumas turn the movie into an emotional rollercoaster. Hence, if you are interested in the complexity of one’s mind, then this movie deserves some of your valuable time.
Image source: flickr.com