Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

‘Bakwas end!’ was my first reaction just after the last scene of the movie and I hadn’t even gotten out of the chair. I saw it today at a local film festival and I admit I wouldn’t have seen it completely had I been watching it on DVD. But since I was seating in National Films Archive of India (Pune) I watched it through. And the movie got better after first 45 minutes or so. Brilliant performances by all crew members! But I didn’t like the end. Yes it is one of those movies (like Forrest Gump) which grows to a new height with every minute you spend thinking about it.

The more I thought about it, the more I appreciated it, but still I don’t like the sad end. I just don’t understand why the writer had to end the story about a high spirited man who despite of having all the ‘human flaws’ rebelled against an institution for the sake of the patients had to end this way, when the writer was the God of the story. Despite of having his chance to run away, he chooses to stay to support his friends, to help them with the issues which primarily have arisen because of lack of self confidence and emotional turmoil rather than mental illness and What does he get in return, death!

OK one can argue that the escape of the chief and its celebration by other patients can be looked upon as the victory of what McMurphy stood up for. But then the Hero (yes the H is capital, the Hero within us is as important as the God, isn’t it?) died. Doesn’t this subconsciously kill the Hero within us? The story brings us face to face with the reality that if you try be a rebel who dares to go beyond the confines of the ‘civilization’, death or defeat might be one of the (most likely) ends. Yes those after you might enjoy the fruits but you might not be there to enjoy that. Look at that silly McMurphy, he didn’t think before acting, just went with his natural instinct to support the underdog and look what happened to him, he died! Are you willing to go against the ‘society’ now? Are you willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Well most of us know this already, consciously or subconsciously, which is why we just try to exist within the society despite of the million flaws in the system. We also know that if we try to fight the system, there are very high chances of failure. And this strengthens the problem of lack of self confidence and unwillingness to change the things around us. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that not all revolutions fail! Some succeed and at the end of the war there are chances that you will be there to enjoy the fruits of the change and even if the chances are little, they are worth trying for!


  1. update after a loooong time ! ! and ofcourse as one would expect it is on a movie :) good one ... now must see the movie, its lying there on my disk for a long time now.

  2. @salil: Yes you should watch it for sure!