Like most people who grew up in the 60s, I loved this book and, even more, the film version with Jack Nicholson. I was reminded of it yesterday when Not and I got to talking about the Winona Ryder movie Girl, Interrupted
"Oh," said Not dismissively, "it's just a remake of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
But I completely disagree. In fact, I think it's the most coherent criticism I've ever seen of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
, and does a wonderful job of subverting the message. Throughout most of the movie, you are indeed tricked into seeing the world through Winona Ryder's eyes: she's a free spirit, who's been incarcerated in a mental hospital despite the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her. In fact, she's saner than everyone around her, especially the Nazi-like staff. But you know what? In the end, she makes a surprising discovery. She's out of control, and these appalling fascists are actually trying to help her. She'd somehow missed this important fact.
Much as it pains me to say it, I suspect that Winona Ryder might be right and Jack Nicholson might be wrong. It's extremely disappointing.