Friday, February 10, 2012

7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

Randle McMurphy is a free spirit in a world of rules and confinements. It comes to bite him in the ass though, as he ends up going to prison for it. McMurphy is a cunning devil however, and he fakes mental illness to avoid hard labor, so he can go to the psychiatric hospital for a cushier environment. What he doesn’t know though, is life is actually going to get a lot worse, and he’ll wish he stayed in prison. Once McMurphy enters the hospital, he meets the steely eyed, heartless Nurse Ratched, who’s out to make everyone in her ward’s life a living hell. She subtly embarrasses the other patients, and maintains ridiculous rules designed to keep everyone in their place. McMurphy challenges Ratched’s authority, and becomes the de facto leader of the other mental patients. He tries to teach them to grab life by the balls, and not to let Ratched push them around. Eventually, things come to head, and things will never be the same. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a story about liberty and the pursuit of happiness, a true American film, and its ending scene of the Indian running off into the break of dawn to find his own way is poetry on film.

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