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Mise en scene in the movie one flew over the cuckoos nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975)- Baseball Scene

This scene is full of themes of conflict and humanity and is important for the rest of the story as it shows and emphasises just how viciously manipulating Nurse Ratchett truly is. The lighting throughout the scene is naturalistic to fit with the films drama genre and flows fittingly with the cause for the current topic of discussion between selfish Ratchett and McMurphy as it expresses realism and real-life matches that viewers can relate with.

It starts by establishing an eye level camera angle with McMurphy as he tries to negotiate a deal with Nurse Ratchett more dictator than nursewhich almost immediately puts us in the position to sympathise with McMurphy and his current situation of winning one more vote to watch the ball game.

The next frame shows McMurphy approaching a patient in a wheelchair for his vote, the cinematography here intentionally includes Nurse Ratchett to let the viewers observe her condescending smug view of McMurphy.

  1. Nurse Ratched in the credit sequence wears a black outfit , this conveys that she has a more sinister side to her character than what is shown directly.
  2. The square framing simply cuts into this focal point to transition to Shot three, which is a waist-up shot of Ratched, with the others less focused.
  3. Forman coaxed particularly fine work out of the newcomer Brad Dourif as Billy Bibbit, the suicidal stutterer.

The disabled character is strategically placed facing the window away from the therapy group whilst still appearing to be part of the circle.

Throughout the film the patients seem to all wear identical white hospital uniforms to imply they have no sense of personal identification which links to the overall theme of the patients having no self sense e.

However, McMurphy is usually seen with some form of personal clothing i. This contrasts with the ending of the film where he is lobotomised, leaving behind only a shell of what McMurphy was as he can no longer fight against the conformity of the ward.

Forman also uses the actual settings of the scene to further express the idea that the other patients have no form of personal identification where Nurse Ratchett is concerned. Personal items are treated like illegal contraband and so the patients have nothing to their names.

  • The next frame shows McMurphy approaching a patient in a wheelchair for his vote, the cinematography here intentionally includes Nurse Ratchett to let the viewers observe her condescending smug view of McMurphy;
  • Most of the film occurs in short takes, edited to provide multiple points of view in each scene;
  • Close-ups are also used a lot throughout the scene to portray emotions of shock and surprise to the viewers as well as linking to the overall rooting for Randle;
  • This submission is echoed during the film in multiple ways and can also be pulled out from the shot-by-shot analysis;
  • However, McMurphy is usually seen with some form of personal clothing i;
  • From the beginning, the visual is very uniform.

The use of parallel editing shows a switch from McMurphy singing with the General then to the therapy group who can all be seen in the shot turning to the direction McMurphy was last seen to exaggerate how all attention is on him and all the other patients are rooting for him getting one more vote.

As McMurphy tries his last bet with Chief, the camera angle is level to the characters showing them both from waist and head to demonstrate the height difference as well as linking with the scene.

Chief is his last chance and in his desperate plea to get one more vote he appears powerless and feeble in both as a character standing next to the big guy chief as well as his failing attempt in persuading the others to communicate like the humans they are and vote.

  1. The dynamic editing of the sequence echoes the discord between the individual and the institution occurring on narrative level. Director Milos Forman and DP Haskell Wexler use a number of cinematography techniques to reinforce these themes throughout the movie.
  2. The camera angles set the mood.
  3. This again reinforces to the audience her role as the person of authority and power.

As McMurphy and Nurse Ratchett argue over the votes and the adjourned meeting the camera keeps still. In reference to her sadistic approach to running the ward, her hairstyle resembles devil horns throughout the film.

After Randle takes a seat to stew in anger and disbelief, Nurse Ratchett turns on gentle music a track played frequently in the film to calm him and the other patients but also in act of defiance as we learn earlier in the film how strongly he feels against it.

His body language expresses how pissed off he is as he sits on the bench alone in the frame. The use of an unnamed nervous patient slowly stepping into the frame implies how his anger is slowly cooling down.

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

After this frame he turns to the viewers direction with a grin and spark in his eyes to show hes just thought up something brilliant. This is done to illustrate a battle between them for the attention of both the patients and audience. The camera returns to the frame within a frame on the TV only this time with Martini as they look excitedly at the blank screen linking to the change of mood within the room in seconds. The instrumentals, particularly the violin almost mimic the noise of the patients screaming with joy.

Close-ups are also used a lot throughout the scene to portray emotions of shock and surprise to the viewers as well as linking to the overall rooting for Randle.

The frame also contradicts itself as it makes the group look trapped in the middle of the room but their happiness overpowers the trapped feeling and throws it towards Nurse Ratchett who in this moment ultimately loses her grip on the miserable power she feeds off.