Netflix’s new series Ratched gives Nurse Mildred Ratched a backstory to the 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In the original story and Oscar-winning film, Ratched was a cruel and heartless woman, unmoved by normal human emotions. American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson perfectly portrays the role of Nurse Ratched. The series creator was Evan Romansky, while Ryan Murphy is the producer.
Sarah Paulson’s Nurse Ratched
The setting of the Netflix series Ratched is the year 1947, prior to the setting of the novel. Sarah Paulson’s Mildred Ratched isn’t quite the same as the nurse from the notorious Oregon mental institution. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ratched proudly wore her rage and anger on her face. However, Paulson’s version diligently hides her more monstrous elements. As she is a single woman in the 1940s, she would have had plenty of practice in hiding her emotions while keeping a pleasant face.
Ratched keeps her cool, despite the fact that she has been sexually harassed, belittled by a suitor and demeaned by the head nurse. Always well dressed and perfectly coiffed, no one can tell what is going on behind her exterior. As noted by Vogue, Nurse Ratched tries to reclaim her identity by performing increasingly monstrous acts on her patients.
The men of the mental hospital
Of interest to note, while Mildred thrives despite her evil acts, the men in the series gradually become unhinged. The hospital director, Dr. Richard Hanover (Jon Jon Briones) becomes increasingly dependent on his opium addiction. This is while trying to keep maximum-security patient Edmund Tolleson (Finn Wittrock) under control. When Mildred offers to help him, he gratefully accepts.
Of course, seeing Wittrock and Paulson together again is a great note. They have previously acted together in American Horror Story.
Sharon Stone plays Lenore Osgood
Nurse Ratched isn’t the only ambition-drive woman in the series. Sharon Stone is equally dazzling in her role as eccentric millionaire Lenore Osgood. Lenore is seeking retribution against the man responsible for her child’s condition. The big difference between the two female stars is that Mildred hides the horrific side of herself. On Lenore’s side, her wealth and status let her wear her cruel intentions for all to see.
Even in these modern times, women are often underestimated. However, in Ratched, screenwriters have allowed Mildred to reclaim her identity and story. Moreover, this is without quite becoming the diabolical “Big Nurse” of the original novel.
Netflix released Season 1 of Ratched on Friday, September, 18, making the series the perfect binge for the weekend. Learn more about the series in the Hollywood Reporter interview with the stars included below.
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