One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest The first thing that struck me about this movie is that I didn’t see much in the way of treatment or therapy. I saw the mentally ill being housed instead of being treated. I didn’t feel that the nurses were interested in helping these people, but in controlling them. The therapy sessions weren’t about therapy at all, but an opportunity for Nurse Ratchett to manipulate and intimidate her patients into submission. No one was allowed to have independent thoughts or feelings.
Randall McMurphy takes all of his fellow patients at face value, expects no more than they can give. He tries to help them enjoy their lives, and find some happiness in them. He has no need for authority, and tries to manipulate the others into standing up to Nurse Ratchett. He earns the respect of the other patients, and they try to change things in their lives. At every step, however, he is punished severely (called treatment in the movie) for disrupting the order of the institution.
While I believe that Randall had “issues”, I don’t think he had any business being institutionalized. I also felt that while his motives were good in trying to bring the patients some control over their own lives, he didn’t understand that some order was necessary for these patients. In a lot of ways I saw similarities between Nurse Ratchett and Randall. They were both the extreme of an idea. Randall wanting to embrace life, and having no boundaries or rules, Nurse Ratchett wanting to embrace boundaries and rules, and not allowing anyone to live.
They both use manipulation to gain control over the other patients, and they both see themselves as above the patients. This movie was a tragedy. I don’t think Nurse Ratchett and Randall McMurphy once had the best interests of the other patients in mind, I believe the patients were caught in a power struggle between the two, and used to gain control, with tragic results. Psychology Essays.