Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Repulsion (1965, Roman Polanski)
I kept hearing about Repulsion and was eager to watch it. I have seen a few of Roman Polanski's other films (Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, Ninth Gate and Frantic) and liked them all, so I figured I couldn't go wrong.
Well, wrong I went.
Repulsion is the story of Carole (Catherine Deneuve), a young woman who works in a beauty salon. She lives with her sister Helene (Yvonne Furneaux) who's late night whoopie sessions with her married boyfriend drive Carole nuts...no really. She starts spacing out at work and becoming anti-social. After Helene and her boyfriend go on vacation, Carole barricades herself in their apartment and hallucinates that someone is coming in and raping her, all the while a skinned rabbit sits on a plate (don't ask). By this point, Carole has gone completely batshit crazy and should anyone come to visit, they are fucked.
Sounds like it could be decent. This film is regarded by many as a classic tale of paranoia and insanity. I thought it just flat out sucked. I'll admit the beautiful Deneuve did a fine job in the lead role, but the film just dragged on and on with a bunch of unnecessary arty shots. I can see how this film could be seen as controversial at the time but by today's standards it's very tame. The other characters were lame and the climax was a let down. I guess this is one of those movies that just hasn't aged well. I won't write off Polanski since there are still some of his films I want to see, but this one won't be getting any repeat viewings.