I think the title Ratched is deliberately chosen for this psychological thriller. It is closest to ratchet which means ‘a toothed bar with which a pawl engages.’ Or retched which means ‘to vomit.’ Whichever proximation you may choose, it is compelling drama stylishly designed with gothic overtones to grind your senses as if on a ratchet wheel, the lead protagonist, Nurse Ratched, an angel of mercy, being the pawl.
You maybe in two minds about the aesthetics of Ratched’s schizophrenic narrative and its extremely grim rendition, but once you have chosen to go on a ride, there’s no escaping. You are riding the tiger, nay the proverbial ratchet wheel, and you can only dismount at your own risk.
This rather dark show is bound to evoke mixed feelings in its captive audience and critics, but let it be said that as a piece of cinematic art, it is beautifully constructed.
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Superlative in its art design, it is dangerously creative, its sheer beauty like a dose of slow poison, drawing you in gently and choking, choking, choking… and snap, there you go! Clearly, Ratched is not everyone’s cup of tea.
The character Nurse Ratched is inspired from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sarah Paulson does a role of her lifetime but am not sure if this series can be billed as a prequel to the film. Another brilliant performance is by talented Sophie Okonedo as a character with dissociative identity disorder. She is an unpredictable force to reckon with. Sharon Stone also delivers an authoritative performance as an eccentric heiress with a pet monkey, hungering for a decapitated head.
Developed by Ryan Murphy, Ratched is designed to fully explode in two seasons. Wonder what the next season has in store for the unsuspecting viewer!
Where to Watch Ratched: Netflix
By Sanjay Trehan
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