Flash of Genius is an overall good watching experience. However, this movie left me wanting more. Maybe more isn't the best way to express it. I just wanted a tighter film theme and development wise. And that has everything to do with the writing. The following are my general thoughts on Flash of Genius.
- A Flash of Genius is very similar to A Beautiful Mind one of my favorite movies. Both have main characters with brilliant yet unstable minds, which leads to challenging professional and family lives. Both characters fight to make their mark on the world and come up with some kind of "truly original idea." Both characters feel betrayed by their close friends or family (though in John Nash's case his acquaintances were figments of his imagination). And both characters persevere and come out on top in the end. But where John Nash is a much smarter character who does greater things in a much more incredible way, Bob Kearns from Flash of Genius does less and works with less in the process.
- I feel that because the movie is based on a true story that the screenwriter didn't choose either the right combination of details or he/she/they didn't weave together all of the different parts together strongly enough. The scenes feel like they move along because there's a lot of time to cover without anything really significant happening in each scene. There are a lot of kids but not enough time to spend on each. The wife leaves, and instead of getting her back Bob Kearns must settle for his kids in th end. Apparently the "equations of love" or "a beautiful heart" isn't present in this film. It's more focused on Kearns' personal sacrifices and the war he wins almost single handedly.
- Not quite the happy ending with Phyllis, Kearns' wife, walking away. Instead of getting a speech or some kind of moving scene, she sort of floats away just after victory is reached. I'm glad they kept this detail if it's true to the real life story. I just wish Phyllis was used to make more of a point than "sometimes people leave when the going gets tough."
- I love it when movies sneak their titles into the film in subtle and meaningful ways. Bob Kearns' flash of genius happened on his wedding night when he injured his eye with a champagne bottle. Unfortunately, we never get a chance to see from Bob Kearns' eye/perspective when he's injured or healthy. We spend the entire film looking at this man's life fall apart from the outside, making it hard to sympathized with him.
I usually write more when a movie is either really good or really disappointing. This movie is just good. And so I conclude this short journal entry.