I must get this crack mended
Repulsion, the movie by Roman Polanski, is a chilling tale of the young, strange and very beautiful woman named Carol. She is very timid and fearful of everything around her and she looks as if she was made out of porcelain - so delicate that if you touched her, she would break into million pieces. Carol is especially afraid of men, whether they are just passing by her or trying to have a date with her.
Repulsion, along with The Tenant and Rosemary's Baby, is the part of Apartment Trilogy where the protagonist is losing her or his mind in his very own home, somewhere where we are supposed to feel safe, our very own haven. It is a threat that comes within us, but is somehow externalised in the surroundings which results only in accelerating the madness. This one is my favorite out of three, mostly because the movie up until the very ending doesn't break the point of view narrative where we only see what Carol sees. The ending shows us the reality and lets us see Carol's madness through other people's eyes.
Catherine Deneuve is amazing as Carol, at times looking a little bit like Sissy Spacek. Deneuve was so young in this movie and it should also be noted that it is the last black and white movie Polanski made. To see such bold themes in a movie from 1965 is truly refreshing as nowadays the filmmakers rarely show courage anymore.
Polanski uses fantastic symbols to reflect the state of Carol's mind - potatoes that were left uneaten for a long time, rotting rabbit, cracks in the walls, distorted reflections in objects. A lot of movies were inspired by this one, including Black Swan. The most obvious reference to Repulsion, where Nina finds a dead rat on the subway station and stares at it, unfortunately didn't make it to the movie. Other works inspired by Repulsion include music videos for The Cardigans Hanging Around and Metric's Monster Hospital and films - May, Scissors and another Darren Aronofsky's film - Pi..
The whole movie is so complex and intriguing - we do not know what is wrong with Carol and why she is going insane. The film's chilling ending focusing on one photograph is genuinely creepy as it either suggest abuse or just underlines the fact that Carol was always so "off", staring into space with empty eyes
Review of the film - here.
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