I think I loved this movie for two reasons, 1. It reminds me so much of ‘Girl, Interrupted’ which is one of my favourite movies and 2. Jack Nicholson is awesome no matter what he does. Well, those were my first two points that I made in my notes so here’s the rest;
I don’t know why but I think I’m fascinated by insanity. I love films or TV shows which are based in mental hospitals so I kind of automatically like this movie.
I liked the use of the group therapy session because we got to see firstly how comfortable McMurphy [Nicholson] is in this new environment and how he finds the other patients amusing. We also got some introductions to the other characters. They’re all very different physically so you don’t really need to know their names which is good, especially with such a big cast. We also get glimpses of their personality and why they’re in the hospital.
McMurphy looks the most sane there but, whether Nicholson meant to do this or not, he’s just got this underlining madness to him. Like, its not as physically noticeable compared to the others. McMurphy is faking it all to get out of jail and hard labor but you do question whether he’s sane or not.
Its not all drama and depth, there are a few funny moments like McMurphy going on the shoulders of a patient whilst trying to teach Chief [a Native American who pretends to be deaf and dumb] how to play basketball.
The character of McMurphy is what the nurses and orderlies should be like with mental patients. McMurphy is accepted by them and they listen to him because he gets on a personal level and becomes friends with them. The nurses and orderlies just keep it all very professional and are often behind glass which is probably why they don’t respond as well to them as they do to McMurphy. The staff think that the patients need a schedule and that if they’re taken away from it then all hell breaks loose but when McMurphy takes them on a fishing trip, they’re totally fine and could deal with the change.
When McMurphy tries to escape in front of the other patients [a few who have bets that he won’t be able to escape] by pulling this big block tap thing from the ground and throw it at the windows but its too heavy for him. I really liked this because its normal, whereas in some other movies, they’d probably have him pick it up easily.
There’s a super sweet moment where the patients are playing basketball with the orderlies and Chief is the champion because McMurphy ‘taught him’ how to play and because he’s 6ft 7in, he can put the ball in the net every time. It’s a sweet moment because Chief has been the butt of the jokes for ages and suddenly he’s the champion and everyone claps and cheers him.
The ending is both sad and happy. One moment I had my hand over my mouth in shock of what they’d done to McMurphy then I was smiling and cheering as Chief escaped [sorry if that ruins the movie but it shouldn’t, really]. Its nice to end on a happy note, especially as you think the ending is going to be a sad one. It’ll make sense when you watch it.
I’ve kind of just realized that unless you know the movie or have read the synopsis, you probably won’t understand my notes/review… maybe I should post the link to Wikipedia in case you want to see the synopsis before the read my ‘review’.
Anyways, if you’re a young adult or teenager and you liked Girl, Interrupted then you’ll really like this one and if you’re a fan of Jack Nicholson, you’ll like this too. it’s a great movie, I really enjoyed it!