Monday, 15 July 2013

God Only Knows!:- Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 film based off of the book of the same name which was published in 1967.
A Horror/Mystery film at heart (its surprising how most films with a religious theme tend to fall in to either mystery, horror , or a combination of the two catagories) , the story of an ordinary young married couple just starting out in life takes a few rather sinister twists as the plot advances, culminating in a rather disturbing and not terribly happy ending.

Mia Farrow stars as Rosemary Woodhouse, a pretty but somewhat naive young woman who alongside her husband, moves into an apartment block in downtown New York.
Rosemary's husband, Guy (played by John Cassavetes) is a struggling young actor who is waiting for his big break, and thus as a couple they don't really have much money between them, but, they decide to settle down and start a family nonetheless.
The other residents of the apartment block, mostly elderly couples, seem to take great delight in having the young couple living there, and busy themselves with "helping" the newlyweds out in any way they can, which annoys Rosemary as she sees their help as interference. Guy dismisses her concerns and says that the old folk are just being friendly, and points out that in all fairness, they could use the help.

Things take a strange turn when not long after Guy finally gets his break by securing a part in a big budget Broadway production. On the night that Guy and Rosemary attempt to conceive the baby that they had planned for, Rosemary has a vivid dream in which she finds herself being raped by a horrifying monster. She wakes up screaming but Guy manages to calm her down.

Not long after, Rosemary finds that she is pregnant, and once again, the elderly residents clamour round to provide assistance by giving her "vitamin drinks" and advice about coping with pregnancy, and, although she initially follows their advice, she begins to get worried when she starts feeling ill so on the advice of her doctor, she stops taking any of the vitamins etc that the elderly folk give her, although things suddenly begin to get more sinister when Rosemary's doctor dies in mysterious circumstances and is replaced by a doctor who advises her the exact opposite of the previous one.

Rosemary eventually gives birth but unfortunately for her, the baby is far from what she was expecting....

Mia Farrow delivers a brilliant performance as the young and naive Rosemary, and it is a pleasure to see her character rapidly learn the harsh truths of the world that surrounds her.

The other characters of the film, who are pretty much nothing but interchangeable support characters, John Cassavetes included, provide the much needed and numerous "prods" required to advance the story, although special mention has to go to the characters of Minnie and Roman Castavete, whose eccentric performances bely their sinister motives throughout the piece.

To sum up, Rosemary's Baby is a finely crafted piece of film which has often been imitated but rarely bettered, and although both the original book and this film did spawn sequels, none of them were as popular or as well liked as the original.

I give this film 9 sacrificial lambs out of 10

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