“Ratched”, treacherous nurse between moments of trickery and twists (vote 7) – Corriere.it

of Maurizio Porro

On Netflix great success for the story of the character who became famous with “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”. To impersonate her is a perfect Sarah Paulson

In the magazine “Cineforum” Emanuela Martini draws up, with great mastery, a list of the 40 worst, cruelest “bad girls” in cinema from the 1930s to today, including Scarlett from “Gone with the Wind”, Mildred Ratched finds her place of honor. Some time ago The thriller series “Ratched” is out on Netflix with a notable global success: 48 million in the first 28 days, behind the «Queen of chess». Even in Italy the product had its fans, not so numerous and aggressive, but many remembered that nurse character on duty at the Salem Psychiatric Hospital, where he was incarcerated Jack Nicholson in Forman’s 1975 bestseller “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”.

Many wondered where all that perfidy came from, but author of the book Ken Kesey said that there was a true story behind it, the head nurse of an institution where she had worked. In the film she made herself hate and many cheered as Nicholson tries to strangle her: now with the series created by Evan Romansky with the direction of Ryan Murphy who has many hits to his credit such as “American horror story”, “Hollywood”, “Pose”, let’s explore the prequel of the life of that ice-eyed woman, as we had known what had happened in the Bates Motel before Hitchcock arrived. Ratched certainly hadn’t had an easy life and playing her is an actress who is now a specialist in the parts of “villain”, the bad ones, proof of this is also the film activity: it is Sarah Paulson. She is the nurse Ratched who arrives in California, with the weapons of seduction already prepared, to join the group of nurses employed in the psychiatric center run by Dr. Hanover experimenting very bloody new practices to cure the human mind and venturing very dangerous experiments.

In the early days Ratched is the perfect employee, immediately hated and reciprocated by the head of the Bucket room, but then reveals her purpose, a particular sick person who wants to “cure” and control trying to make friends who serve her use between twists always halfway between yellow and horror in the 8 episodes of the first season, in the cast of which there are also Judy Davis and the veteran is good Sharon Stone. Among the patients there is a well-known killer, Edmund Tolleson, who killed some Catholic priests, but the focus of the evil action will be a dance party that Mildred organizes inside the hospital, a party that ends with a desperate escape and some deaths in the room, because for everyone there is a past at risk that returns. Mildred’s mission is to save Edmund’s life and perhaps start a new life.

There are strong scenes, like an ocular lobotomy with awl, immediately in the second episode and there are also LGBT feelings, because Miss Briggs, the assistant governor, is very interested in Mildred and it cannot be said that she is not reciprocated even if for the interest of power, because dr. Hanover had been in the service of a wealthy heiress (ready for a terrible revenge) with the task of saving her son from dangerous inclinations to sado masochism, ending up in a gruesome scene of amputation of the arms. But at this point there are too many elements to understand how and why mrs. Ratched has become heartless, as we saw in Forman’s film, capable of convincing her colleague Dolly to have almost virtual relationships with the death row inmate Edmund who devises a plan to escape the clinic.

The show gets more and more grim and takes shortcuts to screw our attention to creepy scenes, trying to convince us that there is no limit to the worst in human nature. The series ends with a backward leap but there is no doubt that it does in anticipation of the leap forward of the second season. Murphy pays no attention to half measures and this, in the second part, causes some repetition even of horrors (the clinics of the madmen are a cult of cinema) while we forget the psychological study of the protagonist to which Paulson offers a perfidious elegance and a perfect psychosomatology in the makeup and in the clothes of the past.

July 14, 2021 (change July 15, 2021 | 14:44)

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