Tuesday, 20 December 2016

"Repulsion" review

Roman Polanski's "Repulsion" is "a deeply disturbing, horribly convincing psychological thriller that is also that rarest of things: a scary movie in which a woman is permitted to do the killing. "(Peter Bradshaw, 2013)
Main protagonist, Carol Ledoux works in London beauty salon and lives together with her sister Helen. She is an introvert and almost entirely self-absorbed - it seems that she lives in her own, imaginary world. She looks very pure, shy and innocent.(see fig.1)
Figure 1. Carol Ledoux(2010)

Carol's other side opens much later: her case of sudden and unpredictable fits of temper, sex both repels and attracts her. When Carol is hardly alone, strange things start to happen around her. The first opinion of spectator about this young lady is quite predictable: schizophrenic and hysterical girl. Sometimes it is hard to sympathise with Carol because there is a too high contrast between her youth and beauty, youth and beauty of the world and the darkness that reigns within it.
It is immediately clear to the audience that Carol lost her mind - because as the story progresses, she is starting to change, but the world remains constant. Carol feels like an outsider in this world and behaves inappropriately and ridiculously. Her unwillingness to live by the rules presented as an absurd incident, indicating the disease. She doesn't want to live by the rules of this world, and she wants to escape it. Carol's hallucinations hint that once, in the past, she had been subjected to violence.
"As Carol steadily descends into madness Polanski ratchets up the tension through a host of creepy images and unnerving sounds."(Mat Viola,2008) Many interesting details were used: gradually increasing cracks in the walls, changing the size of ordinary objects and rooms by several times, specially processed sound. (see fig.2)Polanski managed to transform a normal flat to a real residence/cell of evil. Through Carol's hallucinations he lets us in her inner world.(see fig.3)
Figure 2. Carol's inner world coming out(2015)

Elaine Macintyre seems to be correct when she states "while we never find out why Carol is the way she is, certainly by the end of the film we know what it feels like to be her". After all, viewers with her have gone through with all her murders. Director of "Repulsion" showed us the whole topic of mental disorder and schizophrenia through this slim and shy young lady.
Figure 3. Carol's hallucinations, one of famous scenes(2011)

1. Bradshaw, P. (2013) Repulsion review, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jan/03/repulsion-review, accessed on 19 December 2016.
2. Viola, M. (2008) “There’s only one thing they want.”, http://notesofafilmfanatic.com/?p=18, accessed on 19 December 2016.
3. Macintyre, E., Repulsion (1964)http://www.elainemacintyre.net/film_reviews/repulsion.php, accessed on 19 December 2016.


1. Figure 1. Francisco Gonzalez(2010)[Film Still] http://filmconnoisseur.blogspot.com/2010/06/repulsion-1965.html, accessed on 19 December 2016.
2. Figure 2.Matty Stanfield(2015)[Film Still] https://mattystanfield.com/2015/10/21/the-cracks-that-cant-be-mended-or-polanskis-repulsion/, accessed on 19 December 2016.
3. Figure 3.Jeff Kuykendall(2011)[Film Still]http://www.midnightonly.com/2011/01/19/repulsion-1965/, accessed on 19 December 2016.

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