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Mar 3, 2009

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest : A review

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Directed by:Milos Forman
Year: 1975
IMDB: 8.9 /10
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Yahoo Movies: A-
Tagline: If he's crazy, what does that make you?

I watched this film with the knowledge that it had been the second film in history to win the 'top five' Oscars (for Best Picture, Best actor, Best actress, Best director and best screenplay), is one of the highest rated movie ever in IMDB.com as well as Rotten Tomatoes and has been praised as "one of Jack Nicholson's finest roles" and "one of the classics of the 70's". Naturally, after hearing all this, I had high expectations for One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. And I have to say, my expectations were fairly met.

Based on the novel of the same name by Ken Kesey, the story follows Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), who is convicted of statutory rape, in an attempt to get out of spending more time in prison, pleads insanity for his crime, and is therefore sentenced to time in a mental institution.His expectations of finding a better place than a prison are quickly shattered as he finds himself living among desolate patients and the incredibly repressive Nurse Ratchet. His non- conformist attitude and the youthful rebellious spirit finds it hard to survive in an authoritarian system. In defiance he plays pranks,horseplay, commits mischiefs. His constant optimism and reckless defiance against the rules of the assylum and the authority of Nurse Ratchet can be very uplifting to the viewers but at the same time the bleak environment of a mental instittution can be depressing to some as well.

It's true that movies cannot be taken as the mirrors of a society. But they can be analysed and again psychoanalyzed to understand the society or the mood of the society at the time the movie gets produced. In the same way, one can analyze the character of protagonist and his acts of defiance against the establishment can be viewed as the general trend of wrld in the 70s to go against the establishment and against the general trends of the society. One can also view the character of Nurse Ratchet symbolising the then USSR and the world's yearn towards freedom.

I hardly find anything that hasn't been said about this movie. It has an excellent storyline, top notch acting, painfully bleak visuals, perfectly setting the tone for the movie, and a great ending that leaves the viewers with conflicting emotions. It's true that it suffers from some flaws but which movie doesn't? Overall a very good movie! A feast for the classic lovers! Truly deserves the praises!

Thank you for reading patiently!


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