Repulsion (1965)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Repulsion</strong> (1965)

(On Cable TV, May 2018) I’m still not too sure what to make of writer/director Roman Polanski’s Repulsion. I was bored for most of it, not because it’s a dull movie (it does feature a protagonist going murderously crazy) but because it seems like fifteen minutes of plot stuffed in an hour and a half movie. Once the protagonist’s slide into madness begins and the film reflects her inner reality, there aren’t that many places to go, and much of the rest of the film films both repetitive and preordained. To be fair, the film is effective, and perhaps for no better reason than star Catherine Deneuve herself: She looks like a porcelain doll at the beginning of the film, but there are incredible issues boiling behind her perfect façade—as superficial as it sounds, the film would have been a far lesser one with a less beautiful actress or one with a more aggressive kind of beauty. I’m tempted to think that movies have also moved on since 1965—the kind of subjective-perspective show of a schizophrenic breakdown has been remade so often since then that it has lost much of its shock. No matter the reason, I’m cool (but not cold) about Repulsion—it still works fine as a psychological thriller, but it probably could have been better by cleaning up the script and removing thirty minutes from it.

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