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You don’t have to be ‘mad’ to be in the movies—but the film industry has generally shown a shaky vision of mental health. It’s not that cinema evades ‘taboo’ themes here; it’s more that it tends to swing wildly from sentimentality to sensationalism. Which means that the perspective of Mad to Be Normal, a 1960s-set biopic of Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing, just out on video on demand (VoD), feels intriguingly new. David Tennant stars as Laing: a complex and charismatic figure, who earned fame for his radical, empathetic treatment of mental illness.
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