Monday, January 10, 2011

Rosemary's Baby Review

Rosemary's Baby- Roman Polanski 

Rosemary’s Baby, filmed in 1968 by Roman Polanski, is a masterful thriller, based around a Satanist cult terrifying a newly-married woman, though we are led to confusion through a pendulum of justified fear and paranoiac imagination. The ambiguity in the script creates a tensed and anxious atmosphere, turning a simple tale of a couple moving into a new apartment to a manic-depressive story of motherhood. The lack of a different point of view traps us into the consciousness of Rosemary forcing us to see everything the way she does. The ambiguity of the other characters plants the seed of doubt right from the beginning.

As Geoff Andrew states in his review on Time Out London, “ambiguity is constant”. The change between a scene of grounded reality and psychotic madness is cleverly orchestrated by Polanski, who through a gradual increase in psychosis fuses the two together. The resulting confusing blurs the film into a dreamlike episode of possibly naïve foolishness. The husband, at first, serves as an anchor to reality, seeing his wife’s plunge into madness with an intriguing serenity. His ambiguous role is further accentuated by the part played by the family friend Hutch. He seems more concerned by what is going on playing the role of detective character. He gives her a strange book on witchcraft which starts her whole paranoia, yet he dies before being able to explain himself. Through a series of event Rosemary uncovers the real personalities of the people she is involved with both romantically and neighbourly.

Roman Polanski was able to introduce fear and paranoia without any out of this world special effects. Mia Farrow, who plays Rosemary, is perfect in her demented mother role. Roman Polanski really succeeds in creating an anxious environment set in a still and quit normal setting. An unnamed author from the Times agrees that “in addition to being superb suspense is a wicked argument against planned parenthood.”

Roger Ebert compares the book to the film quit well, saying that “Although I haven't read Levin's novel, I'm informed that he works in the conventional suspense mode. We meet Rosemary and her husband and the couple next door. We identify with Rosemary during her pregnancy, sharing her doubts and fears, But when the ending comes, I'm told, it is an altogether unexpected surprise.

Polanski doesn't work this way. He gives the audience a great deal of information early in the story, and by the time the movie's halfway over we're pretty sure what's going on in that apartment next door. When the conclusion comes, it works not because it is a surprise but because it is horrifyingly inevitable. “

1 comment:

tutorphil said...

Hey Paul - sorry to be a drag, but the brief asks you to include bibliography, illustration list - and Harvard Method for citation of quotes... your content is insightful, but you've got to do your housekeeping too.