Tuesday, 29 December 2009


Repulsion is a 1965 film directed by Roman Polanski. Repulsion was Polanski's first English language film and was filmed in Britain. It is widely considered a masterpiece of the psychological thriller genre and is the first installment of Polanski's 'apartment trilogy', the other two being Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant. The plot follows a young Belgian woman who lives in Kensington, London, with her sister. She suffers from androphobia, which is the fear of men. When her sister leaves on holiday with her married boyfriend, the young Belgian woman is left to withdraw deeper into her paranoia. She refuses to leave her apartment and experiences spiralling hallucinations. Food rots around her and her sister's flat falls to shambles. She blugeons a would-be suitor to death with a candlestick, and later, fends off the sexual advances of her landlord before slashing him to death with a cut-throat razor. When her sister returns, she discovers the dead mens' bodies and finds the young Belgian woman hidden under her bed, who appears catatonic and only a shell of her former self. At the end the audience sees a photograph of the young woman as a chld, who seems uninterested in the taking of a family photograph and as the camera zooms in, she is offset from the rest of the family with the look of a 'trapped animal'. This leads us to believe that the underlying reason for her phobia and psychological distress lies in possible childhood trauma.

I really enjoyed watching Repulsion which, surprisingly, i'd never even heard of before. I liked the way that as the narrative progressed, the protagonist's paranoia grew deeper. But we are never fully sure of the reasons behind her fear of men, as we experience the protagonist's fear throughthe cracks in the flat and the rotting food, as well as the dream sequences. This is almost a metaphorical representation of her paranoia, representing how the woman feels. I found it tobe quite full-on, putting us in the protagonist's shoes; the cracks in the walls and the hands coming fro the wall weren't real, but we are able to see them just as she does. I don't think there's one time where we don't see what she is seeing, but we are still able to tell she is paranoid. Even when we see her kill two people, her innocense allows us to forgive her. So I feel this films works extremely well as a psychological thriller because of the way the director makes the film confront us.

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