Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Review on Rosemary's Baby

Review on Rosemary's Baby 1968

Rosemary's Baby

In this film, Rosemary wants a baby and ends up being raped one night by the Devil. To start with you think it could be Rosemary's imagination, but as the film progresses and the pregnancy pains and ill look of Rosemary combined with the other residents overly concerned with her baby with their strange herbs, it begins to wonder that she was really raped by the Devil. Near the beginning of the film the answers are given out almost strait away. Rosemary's sexual encounter with the Devil and the strange herbal pendant that was given to Rosemary by the neighbors and their obsession with coming to visit Rosemary does depict some kind of devil worship. It gets more obvious that the neighbors want the baby for their demonic needs the more the film progresses. Roger Ebert explains this in a 1968 review on Chicago Sun-Times. '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.' (Ebert, 1968) The film being based of a novel which Ebert mentions is full of suspense. Ebert continues. '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.' (Ebert, 1968) Polanski gives away the answers as the film progresses and we can see what will happen at the end.   

The Devil's Scratches.

We get the impression from Rosemary that the neighbors are witches and are after her baby. We start to wonder if this is true or is just paranoia as a 1968 review on Time Out London mentions this. 'Its main strength comes from Polanski's refusal to simplify matters: ambiguity is constant, in that we are never sure whether Farrow's paranoia about a witches' coven is grounded in reality or a figment of her frustrated imagination.' (Time Out London, 1968) The film holds a deep mental fear as a 2000 review on Mr. Brown's Movies explains. 'Rosemary's Baby still makes an impact after all these years because its scares are purely, elegantly psychological; there is no violence in the film other than the growing mental torment inflicted on poor Rosemary (by herself?) as she becomes increasingly suspicious of everyone around her, including the one growing in her womb.' (Mr. Brown's Movies, 2000) A fear of isolation and everyone becomes suspicious and untrustworthy, the world feels as though it has just become the enemy. The film could also reflect a woman's fear of pregnancy or getting pregnant with the pains that Rosemary experienced and over crowding of friends and neighbors.

 Pregnancy Pains.

List of Illustrations. 

Figure 1. Polanski, Roman (1968) Rosemary's Baby [Film Poster] At: (Accessed on: 08.12.2010)
Figure 2. Polanski, Roman (1968) The Devil's Scratches [Screen Cap] At: (Accessed on: 08.12.2010)
Figure 3. Polanski, Roman (1968) Pregnancy Pains [Screen Cap] At: (Accessed on: 08.12.2010)

Ebert, Roger. (1968) Rosemary's Baby. (Accessed on: 08.12.2010)
Time Out London. (1968) Rosemary's Baby. (Accessed on: 08.12.2010)
Mr. Brown's Movies. (2000) The Movie Report. (Accessed on: 08.12.2010)


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