Evaluation Of The Movie One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Satisfactory Essays
Allen Ivanov
Mr. Lowery
American Studies Honors English P4
27 May 2014
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
“Forman’s movie without Bromden’s perspective is empty and devoid.” (Shmoop Inc.). Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, has been adapted into a film version, directed by Milos Forman. It has won numerous Oscar awards including “Best Picture”, “Best Director”, and “Best Actors”. However, many readers of Kesey’s original novel agree that it did not capture the essence and intent of the story. After reading the novel and watching the movie, I also feel the movie version did not accurately renovate the original novel. With various important scenes missing, confusion about the main character, and an indistinct recreation of the plot, Forman did not precisely revive the authentic purpose into his film.
Because films are usually interpreted a bit differently than novels, Forman knew that Kesey’s story had to be edited and changed to fit a new format, as well as updated to be relevant 13 years later; he decided to delete and tweak plenty of scenes from the novel. In Kesey’s story, Maxwell Taber, a patient in the ward, has already been released before Randle McMurphy, the protagonist, has been admitted into the hospital; but he was present throughout most of the movie. Not to mention, Charles Cheswick, the first patient to support McMurphy’s future rebellions, drowns in the hospital pool about halfway through the novel; he never dies in the movie version. I personally enjoyed the novel more, because Bromden, the narrator, reminisces in great detail about his life prior to the hospital. In fact, Bromden narrated how he perceived the Combine as a machine, often comparing the staff to mechanisms being controlled by wire. But...

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...ghlights the important of independent thought to a joyful life. Also in Kesey’s novel, there is a clear distinction between Acutes and Chronics and their condition that was being treated. However in the movie version, the difference was unnoticeable, and made me forget about the distinction in general. The plot that was chosen by Forman seemed to be random scenes put together, and overall, a “cheap” recreation of the plot.
Disregarding the details and scenes that were missed, Forman did a very nice job. However, did it capture the essence and importance? Not quite. The movie received an 8.8/10 on IMDb and was nominated some extremely impressive Oscars. The film is also #33 on the American Film Institute’s 100 years…100 movies list. While the movie was a well-made creation of the novel, watchers are recommended to experience Kesey’s writing, in his original novel.
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