Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Year 5 Day 97

movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
starring: Jack Nicholson, Brad Dourif
genre: Drama
year: 1975
format: Hollywood Suites Channel

plot: When a criminal is transferred from prison to a mental institution, he manages to disrupt the lives of the other patients.

Based on the book

I have a confession to make. This is the first time I've ever seen this film. I know right, the movie is a classic on so many levels, and I've never bothered to sit down and watch it till now.  This is also the first time I've sat through one of Dourif's films, and NOT imagined him as the infamous voice of Chucky from the Child's Play films.

So the main theme seemed to be oppression. The scene where Nicholson's character realizes he's stuck in the hospital even after his prison term is over, and that everyone else is there voluntarily, lends to the idea that the others feel they don't have the right to leave. Like they don't have an identity of their own, or a voice. Which is shown as more then just a metaphor with Dourif's character not being able to talk without an extreme stutter. That is till after his one night stand, and suddenly he's found his voice, and manages to not just stand up for himself briefly, but to do so without the handicap. 
When the lead character looses it near the end of the film, strangling the nurse, there was a mixed sense of things. You want him to get his revenge for what happens to Dourif's character at the "hands" of the nurse, but you don't want to think Nicholson's character can really go that far with things. You want him to be above the ones controlling the group. There was almost a feeling of shock when you realize he's just as helpless and not as in control of things as he's appeared to be through the whole film.

This far into the world of movies, you can't help but look at it, even though it was produced twenty years before hand, and compare it to Girl Interrupted. There are some similar things going on, with the not really crazy person coming in and helping to get everyone out of their own misery, depression mistaken for psychotic behaviour, being controlled by family or someone outside of yourself.

I got lost watching Jack Nicholson in this. Which, I know is pretty much the point of a lead character. Nicholson is just so mesmerizing. He's so easy to fall into.

what did I learn?  Sometimes you think you're really treading water, but  in reality you are barely keeping your head above it.

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