Friday, December 18, 2009

Movie Reflections: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

It is by pure chance that I managed to watch this show in Bali. Was supposed to watch this film for some pre-training program but couldn't get my hands on it before I left for my holidays.  It just so happens that the villa which my family were staying in had this title in their DVD collection! And so I watched it in Bali.

It is only after watching the show, did I realise this is a multiple Academy Award winner. This show is a adaptation of the same titled novel by Ken Kesey. 

This post is meant as a reflection rather than a review. For reviews, please google/yahoo/ping/whatever for the film title and there will be umpteen search results.

Nurse Ratched

It is tough to fathom the ultimate objective of Nurse Ratched's employment in the ward. It is easy to generalise that she wants the best for the patients but her actions speaks otherwise.  It is as though she wants to keep the absolute power and control over the ward, the patients (and the doctor). She has her own way of doing things and do not tolerate any changes to the "well thought-out routine".

In her many battles with McMurphy, she shown great flexibility in the verbal sparring and will always regain the authority and control of the setting. However her stubborness (or fear of loss of control) and lack of flexibility is starkly exhibited whenever a change of the routine is proposed, which is why I am suspicious of her intentions. You may argue that she has a well-formed outcome in mind (to maintain absolute control) and thus will not deviate or tolerate anything that will topple it.

I thought Ratched's lack of sensory acuity is the direct cause of Billy's death.  She did not notice the total change in Billy after his adventures with Candy and solely focused on her anger.

Take away: Be flexible, what works then may not work now. And always know what you want.


The main man in the story.  He showed tremendous ability in establishing rapport with the group in his ward, not showing any prejudice, even though some of them may be too (mentally) sick to understand him. The turning point had to be during the 2nd vote for the World Series to be shown on TV where he gained majority of the votes.

After he realised that the other male patients are more institutionalised than they are focused on becoming functional to face the outside world, he embarks on the road to help them, which brought on the many battles with Ratched. He showed great creativity (and a total disregard of the rules of the institution) and did things that were not usually done in the ward.  The activities sort of liberalised and energised the whole setting and the patients start to come out of the shells that they had been hiding in. (which Ratched didn't like and thought it was a disruption to the program.)

McMurphy got the rest of the patients excited when he claims that he could lift the stone fountain. When he failed and walked away with "Why? At least I tried.", to me, is the point where he won over many of his ward-mates and the little nudge that makes them agree to tag along with McMurphy with his crazy plans.

Takeawy: Do whatever it takes. Do not limit yourself to the 'rules' set by others or the environment.

Bromden (Chief)

Bromden acted deaf and dumb for decades to avoid attention. It can be inferred that he did not agree or like the way the ward is ran but chose to accept it rather than to take actions against it. The actions of McMurphy liberalised him and convinced him that he needs to stand by for what he believed in and go for his dreams (to go back to his homeland in Canada.) 

McMurphy made Bromden believe in himself, visualised the goal of "riding the plains" together in Canada and gave him a new leash of life.  

After McMurphy was lobotomised and (probably) will not recover back to his normal self again, Bromden decided to free McMurphy for his suffering rather than let McMurphy remain in his state.  It was also the final push for him to execute the plans to escape and to realise his dream of returning home.

Take-away: To feel big all the time. You have got whatever you need inside you. You just need to know how to access it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eulogy to my E51 (MIA)

Thank you for being so lovely.
I am sure I touched and pressed you more times than any other objects daily.

Always giving me the information that I need.
And somethings details that I rather not have.
Information to make big decisions,
Other stuff, just for the heck of it, you gave.

To convey my emotions and intentions
And to receive love, care and... instructions.

You are blessed with every function a man can wish for!
Except for the gadget his job prohibit.
Nevertheless you gave your due.
And revenge I will seek, to my last bit.

Rest in Peace my dear friend.

To cut the long story short, I absent-mindedly left my handphone on a rack and left the shop. 5-10mins later, I discovered the lost and immediately went searching for it.  Mrs Pancakes called through the phone but no one answered.  Hoping some good soul who find the phone will answer it and return it to me. She kept calling while I went around searching.  After a couple of minutes, the phone was switched off. *Liaoz....* So I immediately suspended my SIM card. Crap.

And for those who thought that I was joking.


As I was waiting there for the nice officer to complete my report. This man came in and said that he had been blackmailed.  Being the kay-poh me, I immediately tuned my attention to the conversation.  Apparently a Chinese national called this man and said his daughter is kidnapped and demanded $30,000 in ransom.  Being the typical father, this man immediately rushed down from his place of work and while trying to contact his daughter went to withdraw the money.  Lucky for him, he found his daughter safe and sound before the drop-off.  It was one of those scam.

Initially I felt super tiny at that point of time.  What is a lost handphone compared to this man's case?  I was a bit embarrassed actually.  But as I sat there waiting, hey, if we don't stop minor/trivial cases like a lost handphone, it might just encourage the f***er to go on to bigger things like this scam. Immediately I felt better. Seriously.

As I mourn for the lost of my phone and the data that went with it, I hope my friends' details are safe.
And yes, I take this as a message from above..... so I pre-ordered my iPhone. :)
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