Book vs. Film vs. Mini-series: 'Rosemary's Baby' | LitReactor
Rosemarys-BabyTVmovie-2 HNN (Don't tell Doc Rotten!), I don't think I should be the one who ended up with this sorry assignment. If the plot of the Rosemary's Baby TV miniseries seems like a carbon copy The viewer never really knows until the climax and end of the film. Rosemary's Baby (TV Mini-Series ) on IMDb: Movies, TV, Celebs, and more. .. by introducing characters who have no clear connection with the narrative, .. I must see it through to the end. hahahahahahahaha what a waste of time.
Levin was indeed a non-believer, as confirmed by Otto Penzler, owner and proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshopin an introduction to the most recent edition of RB Levin was not a believer—not in any organized religion, not Satanism, not witchcraft, not in any of the myths or charismatic real-life figures who have engendered worship.
Book vs. Film vs. Mini-series: 'Rosemary's Baby'
In fact, he had rather hoped that his novel would help to increase the skepticism that had always resided with him. The author achieves this by essentially showing us what organized religion does to a person's decision-making abilities.
Rosemary is a recovering Catholic at the narrative's outset; she considers herself agnostic because, as her husband Guy puts it, "there's no absolute proof one way or the other, is there?
It is for this reason that, at the novel's climax, Rosemary chooses to love her devil spawn, rather than kill it, or even take it to a priest for the Church to handle. All throughout the narrative, Rosemary has only ever been the slightly "edgier" version of everything her sisters became—housewives, who raise children and clean house.
She embodies the "perfect little spouse" persona that Levin would explore in more pointed detail with The Stepford Wives. After her pregnancy is confirmed but long before she suspects any nefarious deedsRosemary is overjoyed. Levin writes, "Now she was alive; was doing, was being, was at last herself and complete.
Because for all her rebellion—her moving from Omaha to New York City, her marrying a Protestant rather than a Catholic, her abandoning of the faith in favor of agnosticism—Rosemary needs religion. She never really escaped it, and her entire identity has been subconsciously shaped by its trappings.
Now, here she is with a coven of witches chanting "Hail Satan! They are a religious group, and they embrace her. Thus, Rosemary isn't just choosing to love her child; she is reaffirming her belief in those divine powers bigger than she is, and she's switching teams in the process.
By choosing Andrew, Rosemary is also choosing Satanism. Again, Levin neither believes in God nor the Devil, he's simply making a point about the effect such beliefs have on people. Rosemary is so indoctrinated into the Catholic church, she still lives under its shadow even though she believes she's walked away from it; she prescribes to traditional notions of femininity and masculinity—Guy is the breadwinner, she is the home-keeper and the child-bearer—despite an itch to be independent more on this aspect of the narrative in a moment ; and when push comes to shove, when all those stories from the Bible turn out to be true, Rosemary abandons Good for Evil simply because Evil offers the loving support group that Good never could.
In the end, Levin is saying, religion isn't about Good and Evil, it's about self-identification and community, and Rosemary will take it where she can get it. Polanski's Film I could write endlessly about the first film adaptation, which I'll refer to as RB, but when tasked with weighing the differences between it and the original novel, there isn't much to discuss. By this I mean, the number of changes made by Roman Polanski is quite low.
Levin was impressed with Polanski's strict adherence to detail. The result was possibly the most faithful film adaptation ever made. It incorporates whole pages of the book's dialogue It was not only Polanski's first Hollywood film but also the first one he made based on someone else's material; I'm not sure he realized he had the right to make changes.
It's plausible the director merely wanted to do a good job on his first big film, but I think it's more likely that Polanski could recognize an expertly plotted suspense narrative full of little details that hint at the horror to come, and he simply didn't want to leave any crucial clues out.
Some scenes and bits of information are jettisoned, no doubt for running time's sake. Unfortunately, those missing details give us a broader understanding of Rosemary as a woman manipulated by religion, which also generates a feminist commentary on the subordinate role of women in a patriarchal society. For instance, in the novel, Rosemary comes from a "fertile" Catholic family in the Midwest, but she occupies the role of black sheep. She has a strained relationship with her parents and siblings, who have ostracized her for moving to New York, marrying a Protestant, and abandoning the faith.
But again, for all her supposed rebelliousness, Rosemary is really only engaged in a modern and fashionable version of the same life she left behind: Despite her complaints about the trappings of Catholicism and the stifling nature of Midwestern living, Rosemary's goals are nonetheless rooted in pleasing her family, and their rejection of her efforts nags at her.
Not so, however, in the film, which only mentions Rosemary's familial background in passing, leaving our protagonist a bit less complex in the process, and dwindling Levin's more pointed feminist statements. This dwindling effect, unfortunately, continues.
Polanski's most glaring omission occurs after the infamous "consummation" scene, in which the coven conjures the Devil to impregnate Rosemary. The next morning, Guy takes the blame for the gnarly scratches running along Rosemary's back and sides, admitting that he had his way with her while she lay unconscious, insisting that he didn't want to miss "baby night. I don't know, someone inhuman.
Here's what happens there: On the third day she thought about him [Guy]. He was vain, self-centered, shallow, and deceitful. He had married her to have an audience, not a mate And meanwhile she would go back to work and get again that sense of independence and self-sufficiency she had been so eager to get rid of. She would be strong and proud and ready to go if he failed to meet her standards.
Despite her willingness to give her husband "a year to shape up," Rosemary is quite resolute in her disgust with Guy, and her desire for a self-sufficient, self-reliant lifestyle is apparent.
Rosemary's Baby () Review
But then, on the fourth day of her respite: What had he done that was so terrible? He had gotten drunk and had grabbed her without saying may I. There he was, facing the biggest challenge of his career, and she—instead of being there to help him, to cue and encourage him—was off in the middle of nowhere, eating herself sick and feeling sorry for herself.I Can't Be His Mother - "Rosemary's Baby" - Zoe Saldana
With this cabin sequence, Levin gives us an inside view into Rosemary's self-doubting personality. I argue that she doesn't actually believe the things that run through her head on the fourth day—it's simply that the independence she dreams about the day before is too frightening a notion. It's that "religious guilt" kicking in, convincing her that she's in the wrong.
It's just too scary to be anything other than a submissive housewife, the very thing she was brought up to be.
Film Review: Rosemary's Baby () | HNN
Furthermore, Rosemary is incapable of being alone: Levin mentions elsewhere that she moved straight from her parents' house into an apartment with roommates in New York, then straight into an apartment with Guy. In short, Rosemary feels no sense of empowerment, because religious and patriarchal conventions don't allow it; and when empowerment presents itself in her mind, she runs from it like a frightened mouse.
The entire sequence helps us understand why Rosemary sticks around, but it's sadly missed in RB While it is certainly possible, I don't think the cut was a sexist move on Polanski's part, merely a practical one: Sure, Polanski establishes Rosemary early on as a woman who talks to herself, but this habit becomes more than soto voce mumbling only after her paranoia intensifies, and to show her carrying on with long passages like the ones reprinted above at that particular stage in the narrative would too quickly establish her as a potential nutcase, and thus destroy the core question that hangs over the third act: A scene between Rosemary and Hutch or some other friend could have substituted for the cabin sequence, but given that Polanski wanted to make a literal adaptation, that option was no doubt out of the question and besides, I doubt Rosemary would have vocalized her desire to leave her husband anyway.
Watching RB, we do get a sense that Rosemary wants something more out of her marriage and her life, even with the cabin sequence missing. This notion is most obvious in an early scene depicting Rosemary and Guy having sex in their new, mostly empty apartment, and it's the most significant change Polanski makes to the source material.
The scene is nothing major in the book—it's a romantic, spontaneous act, showing us that the characters are not afraid of the infamous Bramford building, despite Hutch's warnings. But in RB, things play out a little differently. Rosemary suggests they make love. She waits, a smirk on her face.
Guy, without saying a word, unplugs the lamp and begins undressing. Rosemary waits a moment longer, then proceeds to take off her own clothes. One suspects she was waiting for Guy to crawl over to her, to take her, to undress her and kiss her, seduce her. He doesn't, and Rosemary goes along with it, making for a sex scene that feels sterile and lifeless, and clearly demonstrates our protagonist's unfulfilled desires.
We see it elsewhere too, in the way Rosemary via Mia Farrow's emotive blue eyes looks at Guy the morning after the consummation scene—unblinking, shocked, confused, wide-eyed and then narrowed; the way she unconsciously covers her exposed breasts following his terribly nonchalant "necrophile" comment; the way she sits at the edge of the bed, shoulders slumped, despondent.
Polanski even inserts the "vain, self-centered" line in a conversation between Rosemary and Hutch later. And if you have any doubts about non-sexists motives driving the film, note the sculpture sitting on Guy and Rosemary's credenza: It's the supporting cast that really puts the horror and mystery elements up front with Carole Bouquet and Jason Isaacs who brilliantly plays the mysterious couple helping Rosemary and Guy.
There are other great performances thought not a lot is seen in the first episode of them to really spotlight by Olivier Rabourdin as the commissioner and Christina Cole as Julie. I especially liked the commissioner character as I felt he was one of the rare situations where the police commissioner didn't feel like a total waste of time and actually added something to the story.
So being somewhat of a fan of the original film I never seen it in it's entirety to fully appreciate it yetI couldn't help but think that the iconic "This isn't a dream" moment could've been better handled.
It's fine what they did here and probably worked for the story perfectly in the way the writers planned, but I feel like visually the scene in the original drew me in a lot more and added the horrifying element of the situation a lot better.
In the original, you couldn't fully see what was happening as everything was cloudy for the most part. That was genius as we the audience was somewhat experiencing what Rosemary was at the moment on a hazy visual sense.
So when the terrifying imagery of claws and monstrous eyes pop up randomly, we can relate to her in that "what the hell is going" type of way. When she states that she's not dreaming and that what she's experiencing is in fact real, it makes it a lot of more scary. As for this version, not a lot is left to the imagination as they show quite a lot removing the nightmarish element to a degree.
Another thing that I didn't really care for was the character of the robber constantly stealing someone's purse only to be revealed to be the man in the photo that Rosemary found in their apartment. I like the mystery element behind it, but it felt a little out of place. I think this will be fully explained and given the closure needed in the second half, but for now I can't say I'm fully on board with this side plot.
I think as a whole, Rosemary's Baby is down right gorgeous to look at and it has a lot to offer in the mystery and suspense department. Aside from a couple things that I wish were done a little differently, the series has started on a good foot in it's first half. Let's just hope that the conclusion is just as great if not better than the beginning. There's a lot that can go right as well as wrong at this point.
As an optimistic viewer, I stray towards the positive path. Was this review helpful?
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