Sophie Okonedo successfully tackles mental illness in Netflix’s ‘Ratched’

Typically, when Netflix audiences flock to social media with recommendations, I am skeptical, if not apprehensive, to tune in. But the memes and Facebook statuses twisted my arm into watching Netflix’s newest series, “Ratched.”

After all the posts I stumbled across, I was interested in one particular person, Sophie Okonedo.

The 52-year-old actress plays a patient, Charlotte Wells, who is suffering from multiple personality disorder. Based on Nurse Ratched in Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Ratched” follows a wacked-out nurse (Sarah Paulson) who terrorizes a California psychiatric hospital in hopes to set her serial-killer brother free.



The Netflix show also stars Finn Wittrock, Sharon Stone, Cynthia Nixon and Judy Davis.

This eight-part adaptation, which is set in 1947, is oddly wonderful. The familiar faces of American Horror Story, gruesome storylines, and quirky punchlines are a wonderful potion to great TV. But Sophie Okonedo steals the show.

Her raw talent is actually what saves the entire series for me because when “Ratched” gets slow she picks it up. When “Ratched” gets redundant and starts to look like every other season of American Horror Story, Okonedo pulls up with the craziest (no pun intended) monologue I have ever heard on a Netflix series.

She does not have much screen time and we are not introduced to her until the fifth episode, but it is just enough for her to capture audiences with her conviction and aptitude.

She is better than James McAvoy in Split (2016) and Glass (2019). She passed the “Acting with Multiple Personalities Disorder” test with flying colors. Since we are talking about how social media fads completely take over the world, let me add my two cents—it’s her range and commitment for me.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier, Sophie Okonedo successfully tackles mental illness in Netflix’s ‘Ratched’


Her film poster

“We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy.” – Amy (Amy Adams)

“Her” is a vibrant tale of two unlike forces falling in love. During a difficult divorce, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with a computer operating system (OS) named Samantha (voice by Scarlett Johansson).

Set in future Los Angeles, “Her” takes a stab on how anti-social the world has become with smart phones, social media, and advanced technology. The plot frequently shows people preoccupied with their OS’ and cellular devices. The movie also suggests that the general public becomes stagnant and lazy; too lazy to write letters to each other that they enlist Theodore’s help to capture their personal sentiments.

The movie was very bright and colorful. The wardrobe, the set design, the cars, everything was full of deep pastels and light spring colors. I found it very refreshing and calmly close to the cheerfulness and illumination of the original Brady Bunch set.

Director Spike Jonze, who also directed Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Otis” video, took a deeper look on how many users have become obsessed with our technologies. We fall in love with other operating systems like connectivity, the internet, Facebook, Twitter, Google or the simple, convenient art of texting. What would you do if your WIFI was not working…if Facebook administrators deleted your profile…or if Apple discontinues its MAC or iPhone services?

The evolution of technology dissocializes people and reduces human to human contact. If “Her” is any indication of what to expect in the future, we will all eventually be consumed and absorbed with life-less programmed systems that tell us what we want to hear.

The overall theme of “Her” relates to a romantic theme of endless love, with no boundaries or restrictions. One man falls in love with a being other than human. And the inhuman computer program, which was originally design to be an assistant or organizer, evolves from its initial design to take on human like feelings and characteristics. And while you’ll never see Scarlett Johansson, her presence is visible leaving her mark. Her rusty yet soft voice brings “Samantha” to life.

In addition to the numerous nominations, 50 to be exact, the film has already won 34 awards including Best Film of the Year award by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and winner of Best Picture and Best Director by the National Board of Review.

“Her” recently received three Golden Globe nominations: Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Motion Picture Musical or Comedy). The 2014 Golden Globes Awards airs on Sunday, January 11th on NBC.

WARNING: There are moments of strong sexual content, but it meaningfully aligns with the context of the movie.


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