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Mad to Be Normal

  • Drama
  • History
  • 2017
  • Robert Mullan
  • 105 mins
  • 15

Summary

During the 1960s, renegade Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing courts controversy within his profession for his approach to the field, and for the unique community he creates for his patients to inhabit. Biopic, starring David Tennant, Elisabeth Moss, Gabriel Byrne and Michael Gambon.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Seven years after handing back the keys to the Tardis, David Tennant stars as another charismatic doctor in a thought-provoking biography of controversial psychiatrist RD Laing. Author of a key text on schizophrenia, The Divided Self, Laing infamously lived with his patients at the London community centre Kingsley Hall in the 1960s. In this account we find him experimenting with drug-free treatments, save for a brief flirtation with LSD (when he was dubbed "the acid Marxist") and meanwhile, he tries to sustain a steady relationship with his long-suffering American girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss). Although liberties have been taken with the true story, director Robert Mullan draws on his experience making documentaries to bring immediacy and pays special attention to period detail with almost every sepia frame filtered through a blanket of cigarette smoke. Among the residents Gabriel Byrne's Bible-quoting patient adds a touch of menace, offset by Michael Gambon's more comical turn. Tennant is as watchable as ever, resplendent in migraine-inducing psychedelic shirts, walking a fine line between radical visionary and arrogant chancer.

Credits

Cast

rolename
RD LaingDavid Tennant
Sydney KotokMichael Gambon
Angie WoodElisabeth Moss
Jim RobertsGabriel Byrne
Dr MeredithDavid Bamber
Jane SimonsRebecca Gethings
BryanTrevor White
MariaOlivia Poulet
Dr BloomNigel Barber

Crew

rolename
DirectorRobert Mullan

Details

Theatrical distributor
GSP Distribution
Released on
2017-04-06
Languages
English
Guidance
Violence, swearing, sex scenes, drug abuse.
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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