After the success of American Horror Story or The Politician, the director and scriptwriter, Ryan Murphy returns to the living rooms of our homes with Ratched, a serialized prequel to the novel Someone Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) written by Ken Kesey. A book that was already taken to the big screen in 1975 with Jack Nicolson and Louise Fletcher as main characters. However, the first season of the adaptation directed by Murphy has delighted many viewers with a plot that involves mystery, romanticism and crime.
Therefore, for those who have not yet seen it, we give you 7 reasons why you should not miss it:
1) Plot. As we pointed out before, the plot of the series has three elements treated with the unmistakable style of the director Ryan Murphy. The main character is the nurse Mildred Ratched, a woman with an evil embedded in her dramatic childhood. During the 1940s she moves to California to start working in a psychiatric hospital under the supervision of Dr. Hannover and supported by Governor Wilburn. The chilling thing about the institution is the practices carried out inside: the creation and application of new and disturbing experiments with the human mind… A story that engages you from the first chapter.
2) Cast. Along with Sarah Paulson who plays the main character, the cast is completed by Judy Davis, Sharon Stone, Cynthia Nixon, Jon Jon Briones, Alice Englert, Charlie Carver, Amanda Plummer, Corey Stoll, Sophie Okonedo, Finn Wittrock and Vincent D’Onofrio. All of them do an exceptional job, although we cannot ignore Paulson’s presence, who could be crowned as Murphy’s “muse” for all the projects in which she has accompanied him. Careful, detailed, with a look that speaks for itself, she has been able to transmit the darkness and the shadows of the character with great talent.
3) Soundtrack. For those who go beyond entertainment and like to delve into the songs that accompany the eight episodes of the first season of this series and that have a clear reference to Hitchkock, composers such as Phillip Glass and Puccini stand out. On Spotify, you can find a playlist with the tv serie´s soundtrack.
4) Wardrobe. Murphy bets on an explosion of colour in contrast to a cold and intriguing plot. The producer has chosen Lou Eyrich and Rebecca Guzzi as his designers, with whom he has worked on other occasions. To do so, they were inspired by films and magazines of the time, something that can be seen in their commitment to the New Look, a revolutionary style in the 1940s. On the other hand, they respected Murphy’s request to avoid red except for lips and blood. As for the colours and shapes that dress the nurse, they aim to transmit the duality of elegance and sophistication with the hidden darkness. Impeccable hairstyles and the choice of a greenish blue for the nurses’ uniforms add the finishing touch to an exquisite and striking wardrobe.
5) Direction. An important factor to focus on in this series is Ryan Murphy. You either love him or hate him, but he has the power to grab attention and create debate. So much so that he has signed a $300 million contract with Netflix. A very baroque vision in terms of excesses, a unique look, a social satirical tone, misunderstood characters and an inclusive discourse that has raised him to consecration.
6) Photography. The insistence on taking care of the range of colours, good framing and exquisite transitions. This is the result of a photography team in which Simon Dennis, Nelson Cragg and Blake Mclure stand out. The camera movement is refined. The colours that they signal are red, when scenes of tension occur, and green, when there is a conflict or significant change.
7) Location. Lucia Lodge, this is the name of the motel where Mildred Ratched will stay when she arrives in California. These wooden houses with over 100 years of history hold a treasure: privileged views of the Pacific Ocean. The sunrises, the sunsets and even welcoming the whales. In the film, the rooms were converted into film sets set in the 1940s and the neon sign as well.
On the other hand, the hospital in the series is actually the Arrowhead Springs hotel. Like the previous one, it is located in California. It was designed by Paul R. Williams and was later taken over by Dorothy Drapper. As they were not allowed to shoot there as it was closed, Judy Becker recreated with her team the furniture and mouldings in an elegant 1940s style.