We’re almost finished! Today’s Ultimate 70s Blogathon review is the last non-host review of the blogathon and comes from Curt from The Hypersonic55’s Realm of Reviews and Other Stuff. Curt’s passion for film and all the aspects that make films enjoyable easily comes through in his writing. He also hosts the Film Focus podcast that I have been luckily enough to be a guest on several times. I highly recommend you go give his site a look. But before that, Curt brings with him the second and final review of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Good day to you ladies and gents, today I get to talk to you about one of my all-time favourite films; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Now I first saw this film in college I think back in 2009 and after that, it became a film I had to own, and even though I’ve only seen the film a handful of times after that, every time I watch it, I feel the same range of emotions each time.
The plot can be summed up as the following: “A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.”
I love the story in this film as it is so interesting and gets more engaging as the film progresses, what begins as a simple plot about a guy trying to avoid hard labour in prison turns into a personal battle against the head nurse. I like how there is a balance between levity and seriousness, because of the setting you have a lot of the patients dealing with real mental issues which leads some dark, uncomfortable and sad moments throughout, but at the same time because of the characters, their interactions and situations they get into his leads to many strange, wonderful and hilarious points which make up some of my favourite moments in film. I also think the humour works well because of good dialogue and the timing of the verbal/physical jokes. Overall even though the story can be hard to go back to due to nature of some of the events that take place, it really resonates with me and after a while I find myself wanting to revisit this film.
As for the characters, they are all wonderful. All of the characters from the main cast to the supporting members all give solid and memorable performances. Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy is incredible, even though McMurphy is technically a bad guy and does a lot of questionable things, he’s very charismatic, hilarious and has the kind of personal qualities that make him magnetic. Plus he’s not evil, and just doesn’t like to conform to the rules and likes to have a little fun, unfortunately, his means of finding fun things to do gets him trouble. Louise Fletcher is also really great as Nurse Ratched, she is a stern, calm and collected type of lady who likes rules and order, and at first she seems fine enough, it is not until McMurphy comes along and starts to disrupt her perfectly crafted system that we start to see her true colours and good gravy she is an evil witch. McMurphy and Ratched have an interesting relationship as things start out on the wrong foot in a subtle way, and from there onwards, McMurphy challenges her authority on multiple occasions which causes her to enforce harsher rules for him and some of the other patients, they are like oil and water; they don’t mix and seeing these two go at it is fascinating. Will Sampson is great as “Chief” Bromden, he plays such an interesting character who comes across as an anomaly because he’s deaf and dumb, but the guy sure has a lot of great and memorable moments, and I won’t reveal the surprise with his character, but I’ll say this, I knew about beforehand because I saw it referenced in The Simpsons, but it was still a great revelation.
Now I gotta talk about my favourite patients, firstly I love Sydney Lassick as Cheswick, he’s very childish but so adorable, then there’s Christopher Lloyd as Taber, that dude seems to be very blunt, rude and frigging hilarious and Danny DeVito as Martini, wow, such a different role from what I grew up seeing him in, but I loved his strange yet cute character. And of course, I can’t ignore my man Billy played by Brad Dourif, he was one of the most compelling characters due to his younger age, condition and story arc. Also, William Redfield is also good as Harding, he’s a character who always seems to have a stick up his ass but he has some good moments in the film and even Scatman Crothers has some memorable scenes as Orderly Turkle. And the film score from Jack Nitzsche is one of the strangest yet most interesting and delightful scores I’ve ever heard, I couldn’t tell you what the main instrument that was used for the music in the beginning and end of the film, but it has an odd, otherworldly feel to it and yet it suits the film so well.
In conclusion, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a really great film which I love to come back to every so often because the story is so interesting, the characters are so memorable and despite the darker nature of the film, I still find myself enjoying a lot of the film especially when it comes to the humour and brilliant central performance from Jack Nicholson. It’s definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already. 🙂
So have you seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀
And that’s it for reviews from all our participants! Tomorrow, Kim and I will conclude the Ultimate 70s Blogathon with a few more reviews of our own. See you there!
If you’ve missed any of the entries, you can find a list of them all here.