A Beautiful Mind
SYNPOSIS: John Forbes Nash Jr., a brilliant mathematician, but a social misfit endeavours to find THE idea to make a significant contribution to the field of mathematics and later on wins a Nobel Prize for his theory. But during his life, he is faced with challenges of a different dimension. He is contacted by the United States Department of Defence to work as a cryptanalyst to solve enemy codes.
CRYPTOGRAPHY IN THE MOVIE: Nash, given a code to crack, works it out mentally to the amazement of the cryptanalysts at the Department of Defence facility. Seeing his remarkable ability, the officials engage him on a mission to trace out enemy messages embedded in newspapers and magazines in order to foil the enemy's plot. Nash becomes engrossed in his work, with newspaper-clips and magazine pages stuck all over his office and has to brave the enemy's attempts to capture him. But is it all an illusion?
RELEASE YEAR: 2001
RUNTIME: 2hrs and 16mins
DIRECTOR: Ron Howard
CAST: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Josh Lucas and others.
STORY: Inspired by the life of mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. and based slightly on “A Beautiful Mind”, a biography by Sylvia Nasar.
SCREENWRITER: Akiva Goldsman
Da Vinci Code
SYNOPSIS: A murder in the Louvre brings symbologist Robert Langdon and cyptologist Sophie Neveu together to end up finding a religious mystery which has been kept a secret for thousands of years.
CRYPTOGRAPHY IN THE MOVIE: The validity of the facts in the movie has been much debated, but one thing is certain - cryptography was definitely a crucial part of the movie! Saunière who was murdered, had left a note to his granddaughter Sophie to find Langdon so that he can help her crack the codes to solve the mystery that has been kept a secret for centuries. To gain information about the clues, they track down Saunière’s deposit box in the bank of Zurich (the address of which they found on the side of a key). The code to open the box is the first ten digits of the Fibonacci series, and inside they find a cryptex. A cryptex is a container of cylindrical form with a set of 5 alphabetic dials which spell out a 5-digit alphabetic code. Only on hitting the correct code combination, will it open up to reveal its secrets. Application of force would result in a disaster as it would shatter the vial of vinegar inside which would dissolve the parchment containing the secret.
RELEASE DATE: 2006
DIRECTOR: Ron Howard
CAST: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina STORY: Inspired by the book “Da vinci code”, written by Dan Brown.
SCREEN WRITER: Dan Brown, Akiva Goldsman
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
SYNOPSIS: Treasure hunter Ben Gates, aims to clear the name of his great grandfather from being linked to the Lincoln assassination. On his quest, he finds the ancient city of gold.
CRYPTOGRAPHY IN THE MOVIE: Ben, Riley and Abigail use a play fair cipher at the beginning to decipher the contents of the diary page from Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth's diary. They find a set of clues which leads them to the miniature of the Statue of Liberty in Paris, where they find a clue on the neck of the statue. After deciphering the clue, they use dates of historical importance to figure out the code to unlock the secret compartment in each of the resolute desks, one which stands in Buckingham Palace and the other which stands in the White House.
RELEASE YEAR: 2007
RUNTIME: 2hrs and 4mins
DIRECTOR: Jon Turteltaub
CAST: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Justin Bartha, Helen Mirren, Ed Harris, Bruce Greenwood
STORY: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Cormac Wibberly, Marianne Wibberly
SCREENWRITERS: Cormac Wibberly, Marianne Wibberly