IndieWire: Exploring the Set-Ups in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

I absolutely love this movie. It is like a perfect storm of talent and creativity. I definitely want to do a more in-depth video in the future.

If we search for the setups that contribute to the climax of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ we will find two that are very important to the emotional payoff of the film’s conclusion. By studying these scenes, we can better understand how these setups were cleverly concealed. In most cases, a setup should not call attention to itself. Even a close-up of an object will convey to an audience that the object is significant and will be revisited later in the film. The trick that is employed in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ seems to be the consolidating of setup scenes with character building scenes. ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ is a character-driven story; how R.P. McMurphy behaves dictates the direction of the plot. The sink scene—a scene that centers entirely on the idea of a payoff that will ultimately come to pass—can still manage to hide the setup by using the scene as a way to show that McMurphy believes that he can triumph over the system when he can’t.

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