WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
1947. Before becoming the head nurse who will meet Randle Patrick McMurphy in an Oregon mental hospital, Mildred Ratched is a cold, calculating young nurse who tries to forget the traumas of war. At the wheel of her car, she is driven by a single goal: to get a job in the State Hospital of Lucia, where the dangerous serial killer Edmund Tolleson is about to be interned. Very quickly, the nurse will discover the many secrets and vices that the establishment contains. Faces will be revealed and stories, as sordid as they are heartbreaking, will turn the lives of staff and patients upside down.
Ratched, a series created by Ryan Murphy and Evan Romansky, with Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Cynthia Nixon, Jon Jon Briones, Sharon Stone, Judy Davis …
Available in full on Netflix. Episodes viewed: 8/8
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE ?
WHO IS IT WITH?
Ryan Murphy’s favorite actress, Sarah Paulson succeeds Louise Fletcher as Mildred Ratched and embodies a younger and more complex version of the character, haunted by her own demons. If the actress excels in front of the camera, she takes on, for the very first time, the role of executive producer. A further step in his career, which underlines his total investment in the production of the series. Around her, many talented actors and actresses give her the reply: Sharon Stone plays a rich and powerful woman, eager for revenge; Finn Wittrock, a dangerous serial killer; Judy Davis, an awkward nurse; Jon Jon Briones, a doctor with a troubled past and Corey Stoll, a deadly hitman. Among her poisonous characters, Cynthia Nixon plays a sensitive heroine, full of tenderness and intimately linked to Ratched.
In the background, viewers will also find Brandon Flynn, seen in 13 Reasons Why, which plays the son of the character played by Sharon Stone; Vincent D’Onofrio, a hateful politician; Sophie Okonedo impresses in the skin of a scizophrenic; Charlie Carver, him, lends his features to a disfigured nurse and Rosanna Arquette becomes, the time of a small appearance, a touching social assistance.
WELL WORTH A LOOK ?
The border which separates the monster from the human being is sometimes tiny and difficult to grasp. It is this gray area that Ryan murphy and Evan romansky decide to explore in their series, Ratched. This name is that of the nurse, as mythical as it is cruel, from the novel Flight over a cuckoo’s nest, published by Ken Kesey in 1962. Thirteen years later, the book is gaining popularity thanks to Miloš Forman’s masterful film adaptation with Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher in the role of the abusive caregiver. Her performance, which marked her career, even earned her the Oscar for best actress in 1976.
In this eight-episode prequel, viewers are invited to explore the past and the scars that shaped this injured woman. Sarah paulson, a faithful Ryan Murphy, has the difficult task of bringing it back to life. In reality, the association with the universe of Flight over a cuckoo’s nest is not obvious at first glance. The creators of the series use this bond more as a pretext to offer a tragedy about human nature, its broken hopes, its ulterior desires and the inner conflict to bury the other face, the dreaded one. Not sure that Miloš Forman fans rediscover the essence of the original film, but the whole point of the plot is to be guided towards a new horizon.
From Hitchcock thriller to melodrama
Ratched shows immense richness thanks to its mix of genres. Some will see it as a thriller, embellished with a few touches of horror and suspense. Shadows of Samuel Fuller – how can we not think of his film Shock Corridor? – and Alfred Hitchcock soar above the series with numerous sequences and images referenced. It is not by chance that the music of Psychose – and of Nerves to Live -, composed by Bernard Hermann, resounds on different occasions and meets the soundtrack orchestrated by Mac Quayle. Others will detect a melodramatic atmosphere, faithful to the films of Douglas Sirk or George Cukor, which revolves in particular around a beautiful love story between two women.
Behind his tributes to the great Hollywood masterpieces, the series nonetheless abandons its political messages, such as the death penalty or the treatment of homosexuals during the post-war period. These subjects are dealt with through the destinies of certain characters, such as those played by Annie Starke – the daughter of Glenn Close – and Finn wittrock, two of the protagonists who make up a gallery of freaks, all as endearing as they are eccentric. As in Hollywood, the previous series created by Ryan Murphy, the light is on these outcasts, these marginalized people who are struggling to find their place in society.
An electric casting
To honor such personalities, Ratched can count on its excellent cast, starting with Sarah Paulson, who lives in almost every shot of the series. The actress multiplies the costume changes – made by Lou Eyrich and Rebecca Guzzi – with grace and offers a nuanced interpretation that reveals a real sensitivity during the episodes. Sharon Stone, far too rare on the screens, has lost none of her ability to play threatening women and Finn Wittrock, he continues to surprise by playing a serial killer more human than it seems. But the mention goes to Sophie Okonedo and Cynthia Nixon. The first brilliantly embodies a patient with multiple personalities, while the second is a touching frozen lover, who brings sweetness to this world to lose your mind.
Ode to difference and freezing dive into the psychiatric sector of yesteryear, Ratched will seduce fans of Ryan Murphy and accumulate enough moments of bravery to arouse the interest of a less informed audience. The visual beauty of the series, the quality of the costumes, the sets and the strength of the actors have something, however, to make everyone agree.
(Re) discover the trailer for Miloš Forman’s “Flight over a Cuckoo’s Nest”: