Movie Analysis: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest The movie entitled One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman) tells the story of a man called McMurphy (played by Jack Nicholson) who is brought into a closed ward in a mental asylum after committing a violent offence against a 15 year old girl…
Much of the film revolves around the theme of madness, and the harmful influence that institutions can bring to bear on vulnerable individuals. An important secondary theme is the very noticeable tension between male and female genders that runs through the plot. This tension seems to reflect the rise of feminism in the 1960s and the way it was received in American society of that time, showing how some men react with violence and hatred when they perceive a change to the patriarchal order that allows women to assume authority over men. The first indication of this theme emerges in the initial clash of personalities between McMurphy and the head nurse Ratched (played by Louise Fletcher). The contrast between these two main characters could hardly be greater. McMurphy is tall, rather badly groomed, and wearing a dark leather jacket and informal cap, while Nurse Ratched is petite and stern, wearing a starched white uniform which is always impeccably clean and tidy. She rules the ward very strictly, and commands a team of orderlies, also dressed all in white, with formal bow ties to accentuate their official role in the clinical hospital setting. These two actors, Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, play their roles in a fascinating mix of traditional and modern gender roles. McMurphy is loud, obnoxious and prone to violent outbursts, while Nurse Ratched is calm, and speaks quietly as women are expected to do. On the other hand, Jack Nicholson portrays some extreme emotions, and his facial expressions extend from rage and fury at one moment to pity and understanding at the next one. He does have a soft and “feminine” side but he hides it and resorts to violence instead of reasoning his way out of a situation. Louise Fletcher uses body language to give the character of Nurse Ratched a sinister edge. She stands very erect, often with her hands placed on her hips, or clutching a clip board, and turns her head slowly from side to side as if surveying the room in a smooth, machine-like sweep. She often has a fixed and glassy stare, except for rare moments when she seems to smile at McMurphy in a condescending or even mocking way. This de-humanizes her somewhat, and though she is an attractive woman, she has an aura of evil about her. McMurphy upsets the daily routine by objecting to the way that the television is muted, and he starts providing a commentary to the sports scene that is shown on the screen. This causes the patients to gather round and begin to join in, laughing and cheering in a display of collective joy. Until McMurphy came along, the patients, who are all male, had accepted the strict rules without question. Now that he is here, they begin to follow his anarchic spirit, and this brings all of them into a collision course with Nurse Ratched. Most of the characters in the film are male, including a lonely and silent indigenous American who is called “the Chief” and a young man with the ridiculous name “Billy Bibbit.” The story behind each man is gradually revealed throughout the film. Billy in particular has major issues in his relationship with his mother. She is a large, loud, and very dominant person, who will not allow Billy to grow up and be a man in a normal way, but instead mocks at and terrorizes him. McMurphy, on the other hand, plays the role of elder brother to Billy, and organizes for him to have his first sexual experience. McMurphy manages to break ...
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The story is about a fictional psychiatric hospital located somewhere in Oregon and opens just before Randy McMurphy is brought in. The narrator of the story is a large man - half Indian - who pretends he is deaf and dumb in order to avoid being forced into what he calls the machine by which he is referring to the organized governmental system that the hospital staff represents.
Particularly a nurse who is in a psychiatric ward, as these patients need understanding and helpfulness the most. However, Nurse Ratched not only is not the epitome of caring and helpfulness, but she exhibits the exact opposite traits. She is also not maternal in the least, despite some of her physical characteristics.
That said, Nicholson is best known for his dark portrayals of sometimes dubious characters, exemplified by the Joker in “Batman” or Jack Torrance in another dark film, “The Shining” in which main character is slightly off his chair, so to speak (or mentally unbalanced, in plain language).
In the film One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, directed by Milos Forman, Randle Patrick McMurphy (Nicholson), a criminal serving jail time, claims insanity, so that he can escape the drudgery of imprisonment. He is transferred to a state mental hospital, where he is under evaluation for his “insanity.” During this time, McMurphy makes friends with several “inmates,” especially Billy Bibbit (Brad Dourif) and the “deaf and dumb” “Chief” Bromden, also called “Broom” (Will Sampson).
mlet and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest both feature a main character who uses insanity to make sense of his world, but, in an ironic twist, each are destroyed by the powers of the old regime they served to bring down.
Both Denmark in Shakespeare’s work and
Randal Patrick McMurphy (acted by Jack Nicholson), a freedom loving criminal who wants to avoid hard works in the colony and spend his short term more pleasantly in a mental hospital, declares himself insane. However, his hope for free and
This character wakes the prisoners out of their passive doze, showing them how to stand up to the evil nurse Ratched and her violent team of assistants. The book was later filmed starring Jack Nicholson which brought it to a much wider
The question posed in the film is whether McMurphy is crazy or not. Before and after it is determined he is not crazy, just dangerous he is given medication and electro-shock therapy. He was threatened by Nurse Ratchet, if he did not take the medication there “were other
He is very violent, and he ends up in prison. At the beginning of the movies, he is least likely to be the Christ-figure in the novel. However, his tireless efforts and dominant force on fighting for victimized patients makes him a hero in the end.
Chief Bromden, though he is not technically the central figure, in many ways can be seen as the protagonist in the novel, and McMurphy, in fact the antagonist. The protagonist is the story’s main character. The first performer in ancient Greek theater, acting together with the choir was called the protagonist.
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