BOTTOM LINE: A Long And Overdrawn Predictable Psychological Thriller Cum Drama
Rating: 5.25 /10
Skin N Swear: Plenty Of Visuals Of Direct And Implied Gory Violence, Mild Language And Skin Show
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Crime, Mystery, Drama|
What Is the Story About?
On an ominously rainy night, Edmond Tolleson (Finn Wittrock) kills few priests in an act of vengeance. He is caught by the police, later.
A few days later Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson) arrives in a Californian city to get a place as a nurse, in a psychiatric facility. She forces her way into becoming a nurse through persuasiveness. Why did she do that? What are Ratched and Mildred up to and how are they connected is the overall plot of the series?
Furthermore, to those who have seen the classic Hollywood movie, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ratched acts as a prequel to it.
Sarah Paulson playing the title role of Ratched is terrific. She is given a role that offers her extraordinary scope to perform and leave a mark. She does an excellent job with it.
There are many moments throughout the lengthy series which showcases her dramatic skills. The character is given enough layers and meat to explore which further helps her. She makes one hate Ratched at times and also feel sympathetic towards. While it is a credit to the actor to be able to convey these emotions, it also sets in motion an underlying problem. However, she doesn’t get the blame for it, as it is her job only to act and she did fine work.
Evan Romansky is credited as the creator of the show whereas Ryan Murphy has developed it. The subject they picked in intriguing and offers a lot of scopes to provide psychological drama. Unfortunately, they fail to do justice to the material.
The starting episode gives us a proper glimpse of what to expect and what is in the store. The opening chilling murders followed later by the pervasiveness of Ratched to become a nurse are well done.
Neat suspense is building and we are drawn into the world and hope for a slow but thrilling ride ahead. However, we sense something odd in the way the screenplay takes shape and the different subplots are coming our way.
Our doubts are soon clear when the proceedings continue in the second episode. The key plot points the take us to the next chapter are highly predictable. And the screenplay is overdrawn and long to come to that point. There is a lot happening that leads to a predictable point.
If one is following the modern psychological thrillers and films of this genre, it comes across as routine in most parts.
The political background is soon followed by the romantic track involving the females. Again these plots are done in an exhaustive way that makes one bored. There is a feeling that the narrative is getting bloated with unnecessary content.
After meandering in multiple directions, the story reaches the core point intermittently in every episode. It gives a formulaic feeling as we progress. The slow is a further reason for the boredom.
All this is still fine and make Ratched a passable affair until the midpoint. However, in the later episodes leading to the end, Ratched digresses a lot. The romantic track gets more prominence. Also, the initial relationship or the core point changes its dynamic. It didn’t come across organic and looks sudden.
The characterizations of the lead characters take a beating and leave one scratching the heads in the process. The inconsistencies in the characterization are hard to digest after the way it has been built in the first few episodes.
A ruthless killer showcasing a change of heart is fine, but the circumstances and way it’s depicted are where Ratched doesn’t cut it. It is the same with Ratched who is portrayed as a cold and calculative, lying through the teeth women from the start, and becomes all emotional towards the end. It is the loss of tempo with the key characters and plot that makes Ratched an incoherent tale. It subsequently makes one lose interest.
The flashback is poignant but doesn’t have a shock value or is fresh. The way it is narrated through ‘the puppet show’ is innovative, though. One only wishes the narrative was filled with such inventiveness more often than not. What we get instead is a lot of cliched content.
The ending which seems to be designed for a sequel is okay. It could have been much better. The problem though is one would have lost interest by that time.
Overall, Ratched is a visually spectacular, but boring and bloated psychological thriller. Give it a try for the performances and technical brilliance, but don’t expect to be enthralled by its content.
Apart from Sarah Paulson, two other ladies Cynthia Nixon and Judy Davis get well-written parts. The former plays the lover whereas the latter as nurse Betsy Bucket is terrific. Both are good, but Cynthia’s track drags the proceedings and it turn has an effect in the way the role is perceived. It leads to a crucial change in Ratched, but the whole thing is not told engagingly. Judy Davis has more fun attached to her role which makes it easy to recollect.
Finn Wittrock goes missing entirely after a point. Jon Jon Briones is adequate in the role of Dr Richard Hanover. The rest of the cast is alright in their parts even though they appear less like Vincent D’Onofrio who does his usual with aplomb.
Music and Other Departments?
Technically, Ratched is excellent. The background score and cinematography are brilliant. They are enough along with the performances to give Ratched a try. But, movies or the series are more than pretty images and evocative sounds, it is here that Ratched fails. The editing is neat and the writing is par for the course.
Muddles And Meandering Narrative
Lack Of Genuine Surprises
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Huge Reservations
‘Ratched S1’ Review by Binged Bureau
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