Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby
Directed by Roman Polanski

So, I have finally seen Rosemary's Baby. Needless to say, I wasn't surprised by the ending of the film. It has been referenced to and parodied so many times it would be hard not to know about the ending. So did I still enjoy the film even though I knew what was going to happen? Yes, I did. 

One of the themes that runs through Ira Levin's work is that a community is working against an individual. In The Stepford Wives, it is the husbands conspiring against their independent wives. In Deathtrap, it is the playwright and his student who cause the playwright's wife to die from a heart-attack. In Rosemary's Baby, it seems that almost everyone in the apartment building in which she lives that is conspiring against Rosemary. The protagonists almost have nowhere to run because they can not really trust anyone. If they do trust someone, it may turn out to be a lack of judgment and the placement of trust turns out to be a betrayal.

This is the aspect of this film that I really felt was the most compelling. Rosemary is constantly pushed to be isolated from the outside world and the only people that she comes in contact with are people that she can not trust. Even though I knew the ending, the film was still very suspenseful because of Rosemary's situation. 

The film has an odd sense of humor as well. This is interesting because some things are deliberately funny. Mrs. Castevet (played by Ruth Gordon) is an example of this odd humor. She is an over-bearing and very nosy neighbor which leads to some comedy, but as she is also felt as a threat to Rosemary, her character is an odd mixture of humor and horror. I think this points out a theme in the movie as well. The film is a balance of the normal and the occult, and because of this strange balance it gives the film a very off-kilter feeling.

Rustin Allison


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