Rosemary's Baby Digital
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Based on the 1967 best-selling suspense novel by Ira Levin, this new adaptation of "Rosemary's Baby" centers on a young married couple who escape New York and move to Paris with hopes of leaving their sad past behind. After a series of unfortunate events, Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are presented with an offer they can't refuse -- an apartment with the most prestigious address in the city. Problem is, it comes with a haunted past and an immeasurable price.
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It isn't that this take on Ira Levin's classic is awfully bad - it just isn't terribly good. In listening to the director and star/producer Zoe "Rosemary" Saldana talk of their undertaking and the need to offer this day and age a newer perspective on Rosemary's character just made me laugh - for there is nothing in this vision and version of Rosemary that isn't in the character as first exquisitely embodied by Mia Farrow - and, in all honestly, there is a far amount less. Also postulated - especially by director Agnieszka Holland - is that in her version she tried to offer up not so much a horror tale, but a psychological one wherein viewers never quite know what is real or what is merely imagined by Rosemary in her eventually pregnant and possibly paranoidal state. But this is hogwash! Yes, indeed, such a perspective can be most definitely applied to the Polanski version - until the last, chilling moments. However, we see the Devil in the first few minutes in Holland's film. We also are privy to a series of gratuitously violent rub-outs of various characters who get too close to the truth of the very-real witchery involved. And this body-count of deaths-by-Devil are so imitative in style and feel to the killings in THE OMEN, that this miniseries seems like a weird hybrid of both ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE OMEN.
One saving grace: Jason Isaacs (playing the Satan sycophant) is always a pleasurable pain to watch, ever since his evil incarnate turn in THE PATRIOT. French actress Carole Bouquet as his sincerely hypocritical wife is also a delight. But Patrick Adams doesn't fit in John Cassavetes shoes and hardly seems to be wearing any all his own, and Zoe Saldana is, well, no Mia Farrow. And not that she should be - except, in not bringing anything new and unique to the role herself, well, comparisons are inevitable. Curiously, on the back of the DVD we are told in fairly large letters without quotation marks or critical attribution that ZOE SALDANA HYPNOTIZES. But she really doesn't. And how curious that nowhere on the DVD casing are any of the others actors (with the exception of Patrick Adams) even mentioned, nor is the director or any of the production team. Well, with four Saldanas as producers - including the film's star - I suspect these omissions may very well have been by commission.
One good thing: given the coming Halloween season my appetite has been whetted to watch ROSEMARY'S BABY again - the Polanski version, that is.