HOLLYWOOD AND ITS FASCINATION WITH PSYCHIATRY

HOLLYWOOD AND ITS FASCINATION WITH PSYCHIATRY

Hollywood is the Mecca of Drama – and when it comes to “psychological thrillers”, there is always going to be that B-grade movie where the victim keeps screaming like a clueless lamb about to get slaughtered. However, there were some fantastic flicks that lit theatre screens on fire and even won awards for their storyline, chilling performances and “based on a true story” tagline:

The Silence Of The Lambs

Image Source: imdb.com
Image Source: imdb.com

A psychiatric movie list HAS to begin with the Sir Anthony Hopkins-and-Jodie Foster starrer that chilled every viewer to the bone. His sizzling performance as Hannibal, the psychiatric patient behind the glass who manages to toy with the mind of the FBI agent has inspired many other movies within the genre. It even evoked an entire series special on Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lector. Brilliant script, brilliant cast, brilliant movie.

Black Swan

Image Source: wikipedia.org
Image Source: wikipedia.org

Darren Aronofsky (of Requiem For A Dream fame) is a man who knows how to make a dark psychological thriller and he did a fine job with the Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis starrer, Black Swan. The movie rotates around a ballet dancer who suffers from a mental disorder as she starts hallucinating after performance stress takes over her mind. It won Oscars and is still a favorite with dark thriller fans.

Taxi Driver

Image Source: rogerebert.com
Image Source: rogerebert.com

This flick is probably for the Military Psychiatry lot who can understand what PTSD is about and how it could lead to mental deviation in real life. Technically a one-man-show, with the main character played by Robert De Niro that also stars Jodie Foster, the film is driven by a Vietnam war veteran who turns violent in the name of saving a prostitute, much like his war-torn days.

American Psycho

Image Source: imdb.com
Image Source: imdb.com

This film was really a psychological erotica because on one hand you have the charming Christian Bale (we will always love him for perfecting the “I am Batman” line!) and on the other hand, well, he is a psycho who kills people in his own apartment while thoroughly enjoying the whole gory experience. The film is a favorite for amateur thriller fans who have not yet experienced the horrors of other psychological films like The Silence Of The Lambs or Saw.

Psycho & Strangers On A Train

Image Source: imdb.com
Image Source: imdb.com

For those who like to watch old-time movies, then you have two very interesting films to watch! They have been paired together because they are both directed by Alfred Hitchcock – the man who was also known to have some psychological disorder toward women. The former is a docile movie compared to the latter that deals with “the perfect murder”. But again, each of the movies have nothing on the Saw franchise.

A Dangerous Method

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Image Source: amazon.com

This David Cronenberg multi-starrer is about the time when Freud and Jung came together to discuss matters of the mind. It was a golden era in the field of Psychiatry and is one of those few times when two geniuses can come together and discuss their marvelous work. The film is mainly about the illicit relationship Jung has with his first patient, a young woman who gets sexually aroused when beaten because it reminds her of the childhood trauma her father meted out on her. It is a very intense movie that makes us question: What doesn’t kill you – does that make you mad?

A Beautiful Mind

Image Source: rogerebert.com
Image Source: rogerebert.com

The movie that earned Russell Crowe an Academy Award nomination playing the main character, is a flick that will forever stay in our minds because it is the true story of a brilliant mathematician called John Nash who suffered from demons within his own head. The twists and turns in this beloved story make you really pity the mentally ill while wondering if it really is a better alternative to make friends with imaginary characters your own mind conjures.

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