One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Another rewatch blogpost. If anything, to break up the banality of repeated Disney blogposts. Randall McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is sent to a mental institution for the statutory rape of a young girl. He tries to overhaul the confining atmosphere of the mental institution, with tragic results.

It has been 2 years since I saw this movie and I could yet tell that Nicholson is always good in whatever film he plays. Ideologically, this film is a bit muddled but that works in its favour while throwing up interesting questions about a person’s true sanity and about how society view those they consider as outsiders. It also presents the dominance of a matriarchal society as inherently evil.

This film is unflinching, and the audience are forced to feel the same feelings of entrapment as the characters. While Nicholson is good, I think the performance that trumps them all is Will Sampson’s Chief Bromden. He is delegated as a background character due to his silent but all-seeing characterisation. It is only later that it is revealed there is more to the Chief than first appears. No matter what, he shines in his role.

I still really love this film and my feelings towards it have not changed since my previous viewing, even though the shock experienced at various points of the plot was lessened due to my knowing that those particular plot elements were to occur. That being said, it has so much to say and forces us to question our own thoughts and preconceptions about normalness and sanity. As this film certainly shows, those important defining lines between sanity and insanity are often blurred.

MY RATING: **** / *****




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