The ancient practice of witchcraft in Swinging 60’s New York.
Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into the gothic apartment building known as The Bramford. Guy is an actor who doesn’t seem to be getting the big breaks he deserves. That is until he meets the eccentric couple Minnie and Roman next door and then suddenly his luck changes. Could this change in his fortunes be coincidence or is there more than meets the eye?
Everything about this film is perfect.
On watching this masterpiece again I really tuned into the themes of gaslighting, narcissism and coercive control that occur between the characters who have something to hide from poor Rosemary. Check out the subtle exchange of glances that are swapped between Guy, Minnie and Roman after the Castavets are told that Rosemary is pregnant.
The film is also about abuse and the need for the victim of that abuse to speak her truth and have her voice heard. The scene of her telling what she believes to be the truth to Charles Grodin’s Dr Hill is both liberating but then ultimately heartbreaking.
Watch out for Polanski’s direction and marvel at how deft, innovative and revolutionary it is. The scene where Minnie is sat on Rosemary’s bed just out of view still makes me crane my neck to look around the door frame to see her more clearly. Now thats genius.
The film builds to one of the most unsettling climaxes in film history. And then the scene after that is is even more disconcerting.
Ruth Gordon’s performance is one of the best I’ve ever seen in any movie. The perfect alignment of perfect writing with an actress who was born to play the part.
Look out for the cameo by William Castle.
I cannot recommend this film enough. If you haven’t seen it you’re in for a treat. If you have seen it then watch it again. You’re still in for a treat.
5 out of 5 stars