Mental illnesses and disorders are usually complicated scenarios that cinema explores irregularly. Especially when it comes to conditions that analyze — and, in some cases, rethink — the nature of reality. From the perception of the split identity to the connections between the palpable and what the mind interprets about intellectual stimuli. The universe of films on mental health that go through the big topics on psychiatric illnesses is as wide as it is complicated to analyze.
Especially when the cinema tries to explore the different versions on similar topics based on idealization. Since madness as a form of genius up to a reflection of human darkness. The truth is that the film world often has trouble showing what a wide-ranging mental illness can encompass. There are few arguments capable of deepening and analyzing, but, especially, of exploring the wide world of psychiatric illnesses with sensitivity and respect.
But some movies about mental health don’t just do that. In addition, they allow to have a more sensitive and powerful vision about subjects that, in general, are hard to approach. We leave you five films with a direct plot focus on mental health problems, which allow you to reflect in an honest and generous way.
An amazing mindthe film about mental health that everyone knows
This mental health film, directed by Ron Howard, explores the ordeal endured by Nobel Prize winner John Nash (Russell Crowe) in the midst of a picture of schizophrenia. Howard chose to avoid platitudes and focus on the scientist’s emotional and family life. In particular, in the midst of the distortion of reality that he suffers. In fact, one of the film’s most acclaimed points is its conscious and well-constructed journey through the dilemmas of a mental disorder. Especially, how it affects his future and the patient’s environment. Something that An amazing mind displayed with sensitive elegance.
The real John Nash, a theoretical mathematician specializing in game theories, had to deal with the serious mental diagnosis throughout his adult life. Despite this, he managed to carry out all kinds of research on probabilistic models that, applied to economics, earned him the Nobel Prize in 1994.
But it also became one of the emblematic cases about the way in which mental health can affect multiple areas of life. Howard’s film reconciled both visions and achieved an elegant perspective on a life marked by the mental pain of a psychiatric illness.
James Mangold’s adaptation of writer Susanna Kaysen’s memoirs chronicles life inside a psychiatric institution. But beyond that, it also places considerable emphasis on the private dilemmas that mental health engenders. In addition, it places special emphasis on showing facets of the female psychiatric experience. A very rare subject in the world of cinema and films about mental health. Particularly, it does so from a perspective that encompasses the emotional suffering caused by a psychiatric disorder and the relationship with the world around it.
Susanna (Winona Ryder) ends up being admitted to an institute after a suicide attempt. But what could have been just the opportunity to delve into her mental problems turns into a whole new life journey. Her recovery encompasses much more than therapeutic tools to understand her mind and is linked to friendship with the patients around her. In particular, her singular friendship with the manipulative, and sometimes violent, Lisa Rowe (Angelina Jolie).
Bit by bit, this mental health film looks at the condition of mental disorder as more than just a health scenario. It also explores the idea that mental health is related to a high emotional component. In the end, Susanna will manage to find not only a precarious balance, but also a kind of quiet redemption. All in the midst of her painful recovery, which the film shows in all her stark connection to the uniqueness of female identity.
The advantages of being an outcasta film about mental health and adolescence
Stephen Chbosky’s film — who also wrote the script — takes the risk of analyzing mental disorders during adolescence. Much more when he links the vision of the main characters of him about Mental health with the invisible sufferings of growing up. It is a complicated version about psychiatric disorders, which must also go through the transit of adolescence. What gives the story its special depth, beauty and sensitivity.
As if that weren’t enough, the script for this mental health film focuses attention on the trauma of Charlie (Logan Lerman), an introverted teenager. This is a bold decision that allows the plot to ask elegant and well-constructed questions about identity. But, especially, about how much a psychological condition can affect and afflict during the critical phase of the first years of youth. Chbosky assumes the silent suffering of post-traumatic stress as a journey through the way in which the mind is capable of reconstructing the past. At the same time, how this journey takes him to uncomfortable, painful and deep places of looking towards the future.
In the end, this beautiful film about mental health becomes a tribute to the struggles against psychiatric conditions and spiritual pain. All in the midst of the debauchery of adolescence and the intellectual growth of its characters. A success when understanding the wide world of a young man in full encounter with adult life and his vicissitudes.
Words on the bathroom walls
Adam (Charlie Plummer) is a bright, intellectually restless teenager with a great talent for cooking. But he also suffers from a serious picture of schizophrenia with which he must deal since childhood. Director Thor Freudenthal makes the risky decision to build an entire story of growing up through the pain of mental illness. Much more, from the point of view of a character of extraordinary sensitivity and tenderness who struggles with the disorder that he suffers in the midst of the rigors of early youth.
But Adam will not be easily defeated. Despite the pressures of the voices that harass him and the distortion of reality with which he must battle on a daily basis. One of the most difficult aspects of this film about mental health is to show how schizophrenia not only transforms the protagonist’s point of view. At the same time, it turns it into a journey of pure suffering through the notion of his own aspirations and what could await him in decades to come.
For his last big stretch, Adam found the love and purpose to carry on despite the darkness lurking in his mind. But, at the same time, a way of understanding that schizophrenia will always be part of his life and that he will be able to deal with his symptoms with all the tools at his disposal. Generous, sensitive and funny, Words on the bathroom walls It is an accurate vision of a major mental illness. At the same time, a look at the power of the human spirit.
The good side of thingsa movie about mental health with a funny side
Patrizio (Bradley Cooper) suffers from a serious anger problem. In addition, he has a deep depression and a bipolar disorder that he can barely deal with. The painful combination ends up blowing up his family relationship and turning his world into a little existential chaos without resolution.
The character must fight not only against the disorders he suffers frombut also with the suffering of loneliness. In between, he will try to understand the world around him and build his own version of the future. Even in the midst of the rubble of what he considered normality.
This David O. Russell mental health film is one of the most intuitive and sensitive when it comes to capturing the anguish and fear that a psychiatric disorder can arouse. But, in addition, it is a journey towards hope. Despite everything, and in the midst of an increasingly confusing scenario, Pat must find a balance point.
He will achieve it through love and effort. Even a memorable dance routine that will remind you of the power of little things, even in the most painful situations.