Rosemary’s Baby – Body Language


Polanski had specific control over the body language and gestures within the film. On first viewing the audience may be surprised at the films ending, yet on second viewing these almost imperceptible devices can give away the conclusion, if they chose to read it that way.

There are the simple scenes mentioned earlier, the first being when the landlord dusts the usher at the beginning of the film (this is one of my favourite scenes) and soon after when the handyman glares at Guy, possibly because he thinks he is being stared at. Later on however, after Rosemary and Guy have had dinner at The Castevets, they begin to eat their desert in a really ‘over the top’ fast way. It’s unnerving to watch, and it unknowingly puts you on edge.

Later on the same night, after Rosemary has finished helping Minnie Castevet wash up from dinner, she interrupts Guy and Roman having a conservation. Look closely at Guys face. He seems shocked, and he is staring at Roman with wide upon eyes as though he‘s just been told something unbelievable. After, when Rosemary mentions to Guy that the Castevets had taken their pictures down, he briefly pauses and his shoulders tense, as though he already knows the truth about them (it’s so brief that I could be imagining it, look for yourself and tell me what you think). When Rosemary’s friend Hutch meets Roman for the first time and Hutch begins to wonder about the ‘tannis root’ that Rosemary has been exposed to, Roman stares at Hutch with rapt attention, and he barely pauses to look at Rosemary. It’s actually a hard scene to watch when considering what happens to Hutch later on…..

Mother of the year

Mother of the year

Later in the scene, when Hutch asks Guy and Rosemary where his other glove has gone, Guy again tenses up and goes quiet, and every time something vital happens to them, such as when Guy finds out he has the acting role, when Rosemary finds out she is pregnant, and when she gets the lunch invitation from Hutch, Guy’s initial response is to always leave the house, to always ‘go for a walk’, and in reality, to always run to The Castevets.

One of three scenes that stand out is during the New Year’s party that Rosemary and Guy have attended, which is full of Roman and Minnie’s older, Satan worshiping friends. As they welcome in the New Year, one of the guests congratulates Dr. Saperstein, by telling him that 1966 will hopefully be a good and productive year. He lightly touches his nose and winks at Dr. Saperstein, subtly hinting his glee at their plan coming to fruition. Even after the seeing the picture so many times, I only just noticed this scene. This is an indicator of the multi-layered film Polanski has constructed.

Another is when Rosemary wakes up for the first time from her impregnation dream. The audience is looking at her scratched back, so they might not notice the way Guy tenses his hands and shuts his eyes, as though trying to get control after having done something he has trouble believing he did.

Another key scene is just after the party, and Rosemary begins to rejoice after feeling her pain stop, and finding out that her baby was still alive. She puts Guys hand and her stomach, to feel the baby moving, and he jerks away as though more scared than excited. I love that scene.

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One Response to “Rosemary’s Baby – Body Language”

  1. This is a beautiful post, and leaves me (who calls Rosemary’s Baby his favourite film) feeling very satisfied knowing that the baby (no pun intended…NOT!) was treated with the appropriate love, dedication and true appreciation that it deserves.

    And the other two were very insightful indeed. It almost makes me want to do my own version of this, but, alas, I’ve give it some time, and write some originals of my own.

    Keep it up guys!

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