Based on the character of a Nurse, Ratched, from the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and from the Saat Zaentz Company motion picture of the same name, the Netflix web series has been hugely disappointing.
As pointed out by many, the protagonist doesn’t match the character it has been preaching to portray. Ratched is more like a B grade psychological thriller or horror film like American Horror Story though the latter could be rated far better.
Spanned over 8 episodes, Ratched is played by Sarah Paulson, an Emmy and Golden Globe awardee. Yet it is unclear if it was a fault on part of the director Ryan Murphy or Paulson herself that she failed to show the true motive as the lead. Even if you try hard, you will still miss on the plot as all you can see is psycho sex scenes and gory imagery all across the season. You don’t really know what’s going on in their heads. In a few scenes, Ratched sleeps with an assassin and recollects absurd things, which is way hard to comprehend even if it is evident that she is mentally unstable. Clearly it is hard to square this Mildred Ratched with the Nurse Ratched she’s supposedly the precursor to.
Moreover, the plot fails to do justice to the portrayal of psychopaths as well. Finn Wittrock who played Edmund Tolleson in the series appears unconvincing although it is visible that he has done his bit to appear as a serial killer.
The series failed because of these major characters yet all other characters acted very fine. Be it Judy Davis as Nurse Bucket, Cynthia Nixon as Briggs, Jon Jon Briones as Dr. Hanover, I found each doing a wonderful job. But perhaps their part was all in vain as the leads failed to drag the story.
Besides this, the portrayal of taboo over same-sex relationships deeming it as madness that needs to be treated prevalent in the 1940s is also strong and commendable imagery that has been shown in the series.
Another good thing apart from the supporting actors is the set of the series and also the costumes. One can only drool over the precision. But like they say – “All that glitters is not Gold.”
In my opinion, don’t waste your time watching it. I rate it 2 out of 5 stars.