When you first meet Nurse Ratched in this series based on Ken Kesey’s ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’, you are introduced to a well-presented woman with style and vigour. But that couldn’t be more untrue. Ratched (Sarah Paulson) portrays the twisted mind behind the nurse and shows the reality of true evil in this sinister and, at times, vulgar Netflix series. How did she be some so cruel? This two-season series aims to tell the tale of the twisted-psyche in this backstory of the 1962 classic.
Nurse Mildred Ratched works in a Mental Institution Hospital under the direction of Dr. Richard Hancock (Jon Jon Briones) she denounces the idea that mentally disturbed people should be left alone, and believes it is imperative that they are rehabilitated into society after receiving medical treatment and making a full recovery. Hancock didn’t even want to hire this strange woman who stood in front of him, but by some act of misjudgment he allows her to pursue a career with him. To begin with I genuinely thought both she and Hancock would be the only sane minds in The St Lucia State Hospital, but how wrong I was. She might actually be the most psychotic of them all. The pathological liar even lies to herself about her own morality and self-worth, making viewers question her own integrity. Her lies especially affect Edmund Tolleson, he trusts her greatly and is confident that she really will save him from the death penalty and keep him protected.
Speaking of Tolleson (Finn Wittrock), I question whether he is the most honest of them all. He openly admits that he killed the priests, mainly because one of them is accused of raping his mother, and he denounces all evil around him. Behind this disturbing scheme is the notion that he only killed people he deems to be a threat to society (even though he murdered the guard at the hospital on his escape with young Trainee Nurse, Dolly…)
The fact that he ends the series on the run is possibly the main reason viewers will tune in for season two.
His fellow runaway is the innocent, multiple personality disorder sufferer, Charlotte Wells (Sophie Okonedo). Charlotte admits herself into the mental hospital after experiencing some severe amnesia. Doctor Hancock is sure he can heal this fragile and broken woman and restore her to her previous state, but this all seems like it could take a long time. Okonedo fantastically depicts not just one, not two, but five personalities in her role as Charlotte. There’s never a dull moment with this one.
Life is also never boring for Dr. Hanover who has lived a colourful life to say the least. His own disturbed mind means we don’t know wether he’s an angel or a demon as he battles addiction, stress and personal troubles in this sinister tale. He even works alongside Ratched to make the former Head Nurse Bucket (Judy Davis) believe he is in love with her to pursue his own interests and protection. The only time we see a hint of his true morality is when he loses his daughter in a custody battle.
This multiple-murders slasher series will make you question your own mind, morality and deepest, darkest secrets as it twists and turns around every corner. There’s little time to breathe as you delve into the characters in this disturbing prequel to the 1960s novel, with some strange notions of how to assist those who needed the help of professionals we look forward to season two.