11/25/2014

Film Review - Repulsion

(Fig.1)

Repulsion 

Release date - 1965
Director - Roman Polanski
Genre - Psychological thriller, Thriller, Horror.

The film is about a shy young french woman, Carol Ledoux, who works as a manicurist in London, but feels strongly repulsed by men, but at the same time they fascinate her. Even one person who admires her she is repulsed by, shown when he tries to kiss her she turns away, second time lets him, regretting it she quickly gets out his car and runs back into the flat to brush her teeth, showing how conflicted she is about anything sexual. She shares a flat with her older sister Helen Ledoux and also has a strong dislike for her sisters lover, Michael. Early on in the film Helen and Michael go on holiday and leave Carol alone in the flat, once carol is by herself she slowly skinks into a world of insanity ruled by her fear of men and sex. Having paranoid hallucinations. Some of the hallucinations are so dark you could say they almost come out of a dream like state and verge on reality, they aren't completely random though, they actually reflect the character very well. Hallucinations include mens hands bursting through the wall trying to touch her (Fig.2) and even her own rape which at one point it seems like she is fantasising, putting on make-up waiting for it to happen again. Elaine Macintyre also seems to think the rape may be verging on fantasy "At night she is visited by terrible hallucinations (or are they fantasies?) in which men appear from beneath her bedclothes and rape her violently, yet silently, the relentless ticking of her alarm clock the only sound to be heard." (Macintyre, 2010)

(Fig.2)
Carol's Hallucination of mens hands bursting through the walls. 

Throughout the film Carol notices cracks in the walls and floor (Fig.3), at first you think they are normal and everyone can see them but as the film progresses they become larger and it becomes clear that they are one of Carols paranoid hallucinations (Fig.4), maybe to reflect her scared mind or as they become bigger show her decent into madness. "Small cracks in the walls of the apartment flow into crunching indicators of the heroine's crumbling mind." (Crowther, 1965).

(Fig.3)
Crack starting off small and in public

(Fig.4)
Carol's state of mind worsening, crack becoming bigger


In the first half of the film Carol does have a strangeness about her, but it's very underplayed, she constantly seems like she is day dreaming and almost hypnotised and times, at one point in the film she walks past a car crash, taking no notice of what has happened, where as everyone else has stopped to watch, showing how disconnected she is from the world. It seem clear that most people at first believe she is just a awkwardly shy girl "At first she just seems like a painfully shy young woman who walks with her head down, averts the eyes of strangers, speaks softly, and chews her fingernails. However, her deep-seated revulsion toward men and sex soon begins to manifest itself in bizarre ways." (Viola, 2008)

The film to begin with does start off slowly, with Carol going about her day to day life, this may be deliberately done, showing how she is in public or how people see her when she is in public, at these points she is out of her safe zone, feeling the need to stay low key and not to draw attention to herself, as soon as we reach the second half of the film when she is left alone in the flat we see the real Carol, her stranger thoughts  become clear again, her home is her safe zone so that is the time for her to let out all the horrifying thoughts and ideas that have built up throughout the day, it also seems to become overwhelming for her when someone enters that safe zone, for example when her admirer forces himself into the flat because he is innocently concerned about her she almost instantly kills him, but then possibly more deservingly her landlord who thinks because she is alone he can try to come to a new arrange for rent, but Carol seems to quickly and brutally dispose of him also, now two bodies littering the flat. 

Carol's issues are never really explained by the end of them film and we are left wondering what happens to her, but it ends how it begins, with a close shot of her vacant eyes.


Bibliography - 

Crowther, Bosley (1965) 'Repulsion (1965)'
In: http://www.nytimes.com 04.10.65 [Online]
At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=EE05E7DF1739E471BC4C53DFB667838E679EDE
(Accessed on the 25.11.14)

Macintyre, Elaine (2010) 'Repulsion (1965)' 
In: http://www.elainemacintyre.net 10.01.10 [Online]
At: http://www.elainemacintyre.net/film_reviews/repulsion.php (Accessed on the 25.11.14)

Viola, Mat (2008) 'Repulsion (1965)'
In: http://notesofafilmfanatic.com 26.01.08 [Online]
At: http://notesofafilmfanatic.com/?p=18 (Accessed on the 25.11.14)


Illustration list - 

Figure 1. Repulsion (1965) - Roman Polanski | Movie Posters | Pinterest (1965) From: Repulsion.
Directed by: Roman Polanski [Film Poster] United Kingdom: Compton Films / Royal Films International. At: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/89/d1/11/89d111aedf849c49e6633e094cb6a7c6.jpg

Figure 2. My complicated feelings about Roman Polanski | Pop Culture (1965) From: Repulsion.
Directed by: Roman Polanski [Film Still] United Kingdom: Compton Films / Royal Films International. At: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAUQjBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpopcultureandfeelings.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2010%2F12%2Frepulsion_shot13l.jpg&ei=bVl1VNCKMKqx7Qa4pIAY&psig=AFQjCNF_qB8ncVx_dLm1OoEhGBZ_doy6yg&ust=1417063149857631

Figure 3. Horror Digital - Repulsion (1965) From: Repulsion.
Directed by: Roman Polanski [Film Still] United Kingdom: Compton Films / Royal Films International. At: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAUQjBw4NA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.horrordvds.com%2Freviews%2Fn-z%2Frepulsion%2Frepulsion_shot5l.jpg&ei=jVl1VPaAHqKs7Aba-oHgCw&psig=AFQjCNGhuLnlMMhiZH_7GYz7R_16DKid7g&ust=1417063181558217

Figure 4. REPULSION' LOOKS REAL GOOD ON YOU | Obsessions Of A Cinéphile (1965) 
From: Repulsion. Directed by: Roman Polanski [Film Still] United Kingdom: Compton Films / Royal Films International. At: psychocinderella.wordpress.com



1 comment:

  1. Nice one Becky!

    Just be careful of how you string your sentences together - here for example, you have written,

    '...once carol is by herself she slowly skinks into a world of insanity ruled by her fear of men and sex. Having paranoid hallucinations. Some of the hallucinations are so dark you could say they almost come out of a dream like state and verge on reality...'

    The 'Having paranoid hallucinations.' sits as sentence on its own, when really I think it should be part of the previous or next one?

    Other than that, very good :)

    ReplyDelete