After having previewed the first four episodes of the serial (here our first impressions of Ratched) we are now ready to pull the strings of the new Netflix series, which since its announcement has attracted a lot of attention. because it is directly linked to the timeless cinematic masterpiece starring Jack Nicholson, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
The reference work has managed to overcome the passage of time unscathed, also due to the numerous themes dealt with (many of which are still very current today) capable of encouraging viewers to pay attention – though not always easy – to reflect on living conditions often inhumane that have affected people with psychiatric disorders for many years within the structures actually responsible for their care.
The character of Mildred Ratched, promoted to absolute star in this prequel, it is thus shown to us in its darkest (but at the same time fragile) dimension, leading us in a spiral of subterfuge, double games and violence that, we say it immediately, have largely managed to conquer us.
The events of the series, which show us an existential cross-section of California in 1947, takes us into the vicissitudes of the protagonist, a nurse with an extremely multifaceted personality capable of really doing everything to achieve her goals.
If Ratched’s past immediately appeared to be unclear, the authors were still very good at building up a growing pathos. through some truly destabilizing moments. In fact, seeing the protagonist shocked in reliving some traumatic events from her past, will be able to give her figure an even more layered aura than seen in the first episodes.
As for the rhythm of events, the work manages to be entertaining throughout its duration, albeit with a slight bending in its central part.
In fact, despite some interesting narrative and stylistic flashes, in a couple of episodes more than one spectator will find himself observing sequences that are perhaps a little too predictable, anchored more on the concept of escape / manhunt rather than on the predominant themes of the first episodes.
In any case anyway, the whole serial knew somehow leverage the instances of the original film, managing to focus in a marked manner also on the concept of power and, above all, of the danger resulting from its abuse.
Power that becomes one of the fundamental objectives to be achieved for Ratched itself which, during this first season, will do anything to quickly climb the same hierarchy within the psychiatric hospital where he works, increasingly coming into sharp contrast with Dr. Richard Hanover. The moments in which the protagonist will observe him with her icy – as much as characteristic – gaze, will be able to describe the disturbed interiority of the same, capable of keeping everyone in hand for her extraordinary ability in overturning apparently critical situations to her advantage.
In the same way, however, we tried to give greater prominence to the human side of the protagonist, highlighting all her weaknesses also in relation to her interpersonal bonds.
Well managed in general also all the other characters, including Betsy Bucket, who during the course of the second half of the work will be able to mature satisfactorily. Once again we find some stylistic ideas very close to the horror genre, with a particular predisposition to show scenes with a strong splatter imprint.
Between drugs, blood and violence
The way in which it was decided to treat institutional power was also excellent, with Dr. Hanover’s constant search to seek funds for his own structure, a detail that will soon lead him to cover his misdeeds in order to get what he wants. , so as to be in some ways similar to Ratched itself, which will not hesitate to exploit the weak points of his interlocutor to make him do what he wants. The only detail perhaps not fully successful is that related to the way in which the drugs were used, especially in the sequences with strong suspense.
On more than one occasion, in fact, it will happen to see the characters use certain medicines that the viewer (unless of course being a doctor) will not immediately be able to frame from a clinical point of view, thus failing to understand from immediately the danger (or not) of certain on-screen actions.
As already indicated above, the series has shown that it knows how to defend itself very well from the technical side even during this second half, through a refined direction capable of skilfully alternating wide-ranging shots with sometimes alienating close-ups, sometimes supported by the always optimal taste for symmetries.