Monday, May 21st, 2018
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Mad to Be Normal, starring David Tennant as the controversial psychiatrist Doctor Laing, offers a very interesting look at psychiatry, both from the viewpoint of a psychiatrist and that of his patients.

Doctor R.D. Laing (David Tennant) was a Scottish psychiatrist who became known for his unconventional treatment of mentally ill people. Laing became known after he helped establish a psychiatric community at Kingsley Hall where doctors lived amongst their patients. He was known for being highly skeptical of conventional psychiatric methods for treating mental illness.

Laing was the subject of some controversy during the period depicted in this film, as he treated his patients without medication or electric shocks, both of which were very common treatments at the time. One infamous cinematic example of this can be found in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Laing believed letting his patients’ conditions run loose would eventually allow their bodies to heal themselves.


source: GSP Studios International

Mad to Be Normal looks like a fun film that humanizes both Laing and his patients. While Laing was passionate about treating his patients, he had some personal flaws as well. He was a self-diagnosed episodic alcoholic who suffered from clinical depression. Even though he became known as a family psychiatrist he fathered ten children with four different women. Considering all of the above, Mad to Be Normal has the potential to be a very interesting look at psychiatry, both from the viewpoint of a psychiatrist and that of his patients.

Mad to be Normal is directed by Robert Mullan and stars David TennantElisabeth Moss, Michael Gambon and Olivia Poulet. It will be released in the U.S. on February 16th, 2018, it was released in the U.K. on April 6th, 2017. For international release dates click here.

Do you think psychiatrists should live amongst their patients? Let us know in the comments!

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Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.

Hi all, I'm a 26 year old Dutchman. I'm a big fan of films and music. I enjoy writing about short films as well as films from the silent era, animated films, (conspiracy) thrillers, independent films, sci-fi and westerns.

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