Mental issues are one of the scourges of the 21st Century. The whole world has given considerable effort in fighting them by shedding light on what they actually are and raising awareness. Broadway and Hollywood are in the vanguard of this war. There isn’t a single town in the world without a cinema, which makes the movie industry a powerful tool. Here are ten movie characters with mental illnesses. Sadly, the problems they represent are pretty common, and can easily be solved most of the time with the right awareness and the willingness to ask for help.
Raymond (Rain Man) – Autism
A story of struggle and brotherly love, Rain Man tells the tale of autistic savant Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman), and his rather opportunistic younger brother Charlie (Tom Cruise).
Raymond is entrusted to Charlie after their father passes away. Charlie uses his brother and his condition to get their late father’s fortune, and for counting cards in Las Vegas. Both brothers have a hard time coping with each other, but in the end they are the family both never had.
In fact, there are several very funny moments, like the conversation between the brothers in the restaurant on the pancakes, maple syrup, and the toothpicks. Oh, and the Future of Rock&Roll!
Dustin Hoffman is widely praised for his performance as the autistic Raymond Babbitt.
Pat Solatano (Silver Linings Playbook) – bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by periods of depression and abnormally elevated moods. It is a frighteningly common mental illness.
It all goes wrong for Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), after he viciously beats the lover of his wife. This is considered by the judge to be a bipolar episode. He is institutionalized and loses custody of his kids. Pat then enters the “manic” state, where the person, suffering the disorder, is hyper-functional.
John Forbes Nash, Jr. (A Beautiful Mind) – schizophrenia
Russell Crowe is in the role of mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr. – noted mathematician and Nobel Prize winner.
This is a notable story of going down the spiral of mental illnesses. What may start lightly might actually ruin your life.
The real-life story of the economical genius is depicted in a delicate manner, that is intriguing to watch, but is not considered to be harmful to the real John Forbes Nash. This is a story of not only the hard issues of schizophrenia, but also of facing your fears in the face of Charles, Marcee, and Parcher, who are Nash’s hallucinations.
A “Wallflower” is a popular term for a shy, socially awkward/anxious person. In this case this is Logan Lerman’s Charlie, who suffers from PTSD and anxiety.
The “Perks of Being A Wallflower” is actually a pretty light-hearted and entertaining movie, with all the teenage struggles like partying and falling in love. This is generously peppered with his constant feeling of sadness, which makes the movie a bit bitter, yet a very sweet production.
Roy (Matchstick Men) – OCD
It is rather strange that Nicolas Cage is the first person to come to mind when thinking about actors to play someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
The multi-faced actor perfectly represents Roy, a con-artist with OCD, and his relations with his daughter – Angela. They become partners in crime, and through it – closer as a family. Roy has his intensive ways to control his disorder, but now he has to adjust to the new situation with Angela around.
Mental issues are real. They are not only in Hollywood or Broadway. Those characters with mental illnesses are real people with real stories. They are around us. They might look fine, but each one of them carries their burden. We might not be able to do much, yet being kind to everyone is just enough.