"Rules? PISS ON YOUR FUCKING RULES!"
So we have Jack Nicholson who loves to play himself on screen, crazy that is. Oh wait! In this film he really is supposed to be crazy. This is one of Milos Forman's greatest films.
The reason being is by the infallible recipe of getting Nicholson to be the rebellious crazy wind that would shake this story apart. The story is about a young man, "McMurphy has a criminal past and has once again gotten himself into trouble with the law. To escape labor duties in prison, McMurphy pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Once here, McMurphy both endures and stands witness to the abuse and degradation of the oppressive Nurse Ratched, who gains superiority and power through the flaws of the other inmates. McMurphy and the other inmates band together to make a rebellious stance against the atrocious Nurse." (www.imdb.com)
Albeit being a cult classic nowadays, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' still manages to wow and hold the interest of the modern-day viewer as it tackles some very transcendental themes; oppression/suppression from the society, ethical and orthological issues and how free a person can be inwardly as well as outwardly. The strong build-up of the asylum offer a familiar view of how a suppressed modern man would live and function in today's society.
Like a young James Dean in the 'Rebel Without a Cause' and Marlon Brando in 'The Wild One', here comes Nicholson to establish his presence as the rebel who has a cause; to stir things up and prove that sanity is not only a state of being but a state of choice. What one considers sane can be greatly considered as controversial to what another person finds insane.
Milos Forman chose a wonderful line of cast to overwhelm his audience with this film; the unknown back then Danny DeVito, the hateful nursed who was portrayed by one-hit wonder actress Louise Fletcher, the brilliant Christopher Lloyd and the little gem of an actor who will amaze and leave everyone breathless with his performance Will Sampson.
The cold environment of the production design, the creepy and hauntingly beautiful musical score by Jack Nitzsche and the austere performances as well as the stoic and straight-forward direction of Foreman, make for a unique psychological tale of freedom and the need to be treated with respect and honesty. Pay close attention to the character of Nurse Ratched and what the symbol over her over-bearing ruling means in the asylum.
Quite a serious film, not the cup of tea of everyone, but without losing this way the essence of masterful filmmaking.
Perfect if you're into psychological dramas. Hope you enjoy the film.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)