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Monday, September 21, 2009

Repulsion (1965) - Thiller

Repulsion (1965) - Roman Polanski's first film in England stars Catherine Deneurve as Carole a sexually repressed young women who suffers a breakdown when her older sister leaves her alone for a weekend. This fall from functioning adult to crazy woman is a good work. Polanski' use of simple effects and Deneurve's small mannerisms show the slow slippage of Carole's mind. At first you see her seemingly disconnected at her job as a manicurist. Her sister (Yvonne Ferneaux) Helen’s boyfriend, Michael (Ian Hendry), sets the mood saying “She’s a bit strung up, isn’t she?". We see the stress of life working on Carole, repulsion to being touched, auditory hallucinations on the street, and a need to clean herself. We realize that this is a woman just holding on to reality. When Helen and Michael head off leaving her alone she quickly deteriorates, with consequences on men who come in contact with her. The pleasant apartment is fortified creating a claustrophobic cave. Carole hallucinates being attacked in her bed. The use of no sound in these instances really works at reinforcing the isolation Carole is feeling. Carole may have been quietly mad in the apartment without horrid consequences if not a suitor Colin (John Fraser) shown up, if not the Landlord (Patrick Wymark) needed to get the rent. After the damage is done and the sister returns home we have this great juxtaposition of the apartment being full of curious neighbors, these people who did not even notice Carole now fill the apartment to see what has happened. This commentary on how we live private lives until things go tragically wrong is a nice point to leave this film.
Rating (8.1)

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