I finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest last week and Oh My Goodness; I enjoyed it.
I watched the film a few years ago and felt a little bit frustrated by it, I am not really sure why. I think I was just expecting to like it more, as it’s meant to be a classic.
I enjoyed the book so much more, although I was a little bit annoyed that I already knew how it ends. I was secretly hoping that the book ending would be different to the film’s, but knew that would probably be unlikely.
The book is from told from the point of view of one of the residents of a ward in a mental hospital ran by an evil nurse. I got a lot more of her evilness in the book, in the film I did not quite get how manipulative and controlling she was. The narrator in the book is also pretending to be deaf and dumb, which obviously is difficult to translate to film. I felt like his thoughts and observations were what I enjoyed about the book, so it was pretty brave to try and make a film without any of them!
I also felt that you got a better sense of how this outrageous new resident in the ward, McMurphy (the guy Jack Nicholson plays in the film), helps the other residents by reminding them to stick up for themselves and have some fun. It was really well done in the book and nice to see how the relationships developed.
I might watch the film again, maybe having the insight from the book will make me like it more. I would definitely recommend reading the book though, even if you have seen the film!