In Milos Formanadmin / February 5, 2019
In Milos Forman, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, criminal Randle McMurphy, nickname Nicholson, has been serving a short prison term for statutory rape of a 15-year-old at a prison that requires hard labor. Nicolson thinks he has the upper hand by declaring himself mentally ill to avoid the hard labor and serve the rest of his sentence in a relaxed mental hospital. The ward of the mental institution is run by a stern passive aggressive nurse named Nurse Ratched who uses her authority and intimidation to control all the patients. Throughout his stay at the hospital McMurphy becomes friends with other fellow patients but creates strong relationships with two people; Billy Bibbit and Chief Bromden. Billy is a stuttering man-child and is a victim of Nurse Ratched who threatens to tell everything he does to his mother. Chief Bromden is a seven-foot-tall native American who has schizophrenia and cannot speak or hear, but is respected by the rest of the patients because of his sheer size. At first McMurphy makes fun of the chief by saying jokes but later uses the Chief’s size to his advantage in a game of basketball in the court yard. Later when McMurphy sees how submissive the patients are to Ratched’s cruel control, he tries to undermine her authority as much as possible. At a group counseling session, McMurphy proposes that the ward’s work schedule be altered so that the patients can watch the World Series on television. Ratched denies his proposition and explains that it would throw everybody’s schedules off. When the 1st meeting comes to an end under Ratched’s authority, Mac takes wagers on whether he can lift the ward’s marble water-treatment control panel and throw it through a window to escape and watch the Series at a bar. He fails, but puts in extreme effort and tells the guys that at least he tried, unlike them. The next discussion over changing the work detail at the next meeting quickly becomes a battle when Ratched announces that a majority vote will be acceptable. Ratched then cheats when she realizes that the vote may go McMurphy’s way, stating that votes must be taken from the Chronic and Vegetable patients. When the vote doesn’t in favor of McMurphy, he begins to imagine the game is on TV and rallies most of the other patients behind him, causing a loud out roar. Later McMurphy leads the patients in a basketball game against the ward’s workers. Chief Bromden is the main player for McMurphy’s team by scoring several baskets and holding the net so the ward workers ball cannot go through. After the game the patients relax in the hospital pool and McMurphy finds out, from the worker, that he won’t be released at the end of his prison sentence, but will stay in the hospital until Nurse Ratched feels that he is in good mental health. At another meeting by Ratched, Murphy discovers that many of the patients in the ward are there voluntarily and that they can leave any time they want to but due to Ratched’s authority, they are afraid to leave. McMurphy is very upset that his friend Billy remains on the ward voluntarily when he could be free and enjoying his young life, driving convertibles and staying with young girls. The meeting quickly ends in violence when the subject of Ratched’s cigarette rationing is brought up by an upset patient named Charlie Cheswick. A fight breaks out with the workers and McMurphy, when the workers start beating on McMurphy, Chief Bromden steps in the fight to help McMurphy. More workers come to control the fight and all three of them are sent to a detention area where they get electricity conducted on them. Cheswick is sent first, while McMurphy and Chief wait on the bench and McMurphy offers Chief a piece of gum, and Chief verbally thanks him. This is when McMurphy realizes that Chief can speak and has actually been faking his disability the whole time. McMurphy then starts telling Chief his escape plan and how Chief can help and leave with him. As the escape plan unfolds, McMurphy sneaks two women into the ward and bribes the night guard. After a night of partying, McMurphy and Chief invite Billy to come with them. Billy is not ready to leave the hospital but instead McMurphy convinces him to have sex with Candy. Ratched arrives in the morning to find the ward trashed and most of the patients passed out drunk. She finds Billy and Candy together and Billy doesn’t have a stutter until Ratched threatens to tell his mom about his wild night. Billy is overwhelmed with fear and locks himself in the doctor’s office where he commits suicide. McMurphy is furious and chokes Ratched, before being knocked out by the other workers. (incomplete summary).
The most compelling character in this movie was Chief because the mystery behind his character and huge surprise that he could speak and hear the entire time he was at the mental hospital.