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Film

Film image
Parent Issue
Day
22
Month
January
Year
1976
OCR Text

A Milos Forman Film Starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher and Wüliam Redfield. Based on the novel by Ken Kesey. Directed by Milos Forman. Now at the Towne Theatre, Greenfield at 10 Mile. In recent years the squalid and non-rehabilitative conditions of American mental institutions have been coming slowly to light. Much like the criminal prisons upon which they are patterned, the mental wards tend to créate more problems tbr patients than they solve: often stringing them out on drugs, administering punishment (in the tbrm of electro-shock treatments) ed as therapy, and providing a generally brutal and insensitive atmosphere to add to the initial problems of the patients. Worse, until very recently, residents of such institutions in most states had no constitutional rights whatsoever, and could literally be kept in confinement for their entire lives without due process, jury trials or any other form of justk-e other than the whims of twisted psychologists or their own families. It's almos! a maxim now that the one way to insure that patients will remain psychologically sick and twisted forever is precisely to keep them confined in mental institutions. Milos Forman's gripping, deeply deptessing yet hilarious film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, succeeds brilliantly in capturing the essence ofsuch institutions with frightening realism. Jack Nicholson plays a mentally sane prison iiimuie transferred to a psycho ward due lo "resentment of authority." In the succeeding months, the insanily of the institution, and its power to intern him t'orever heyond Mis original prison sentence, drives him berserkv Nicholson attempts to enliven the institution, provide actual programs tor the inmutes, and inspire theni to cure themselves. His unorthodox meth_ ods and violation ofinstik tution rules get hini sent down time after time for daily treatments ol 1 0,000 volts in the head (shown in powerful realism), and _, - , L L L I , r 1 , , ■ l L 1 -- i rvtn (.1,1 If Itb I , 11 iitll f" 11 f ff cvciiiuaiiy nc is iuuuiuiui.t-u uy psjfi-iiujuigvij k into a total vegetable. The fear, regimentation, insensitivity and Catch-22 bureaucracy of the institution are well portrayed indeed. This is not a movie to see if you're looking for a lift, however. It has it's hilarious moments, as do all of Nicholson's films, but the stark reality of the situation will have you friühtened to death bv the end.