5 Thoughts on the Rosemary's Baby Finale

by Carey O'Donnell
Ooooooh HELL. That's actually exactly what I exclaimed when I was alone at one point watching the Oscars and drinking $8 red wine and Anne Hathaway came onstage to present the first award. "OH HELL!" I wonder what this miniseries would've been like if Anne Hathaway had played Rosemary? Can you imagine that? I'll stop there. The second half of this disaster continued in its commitment to slapping its viewers repeatedly on each cheek for two hours, asking "Ya get it? Ya get it? Ya get it?" over and over and over and over. It was a slow, unorganized march into the sea, and no one made it out alive, but thankfully neither did Zoe Saldana's awful pixie cut. Let's begin!

1. So "Julie," Rosemary and Guy's close friend, and Guy's one time superior at work, seemed to have taken the role of Hutch in the original; she played the wise, strong-willed voice of reason amidst the insanity of Rosemary's painful pregnancy. While the heroine writhes in agony, Julie is like "WTF" and demands that Ro-Ro get a real check-up from a real doctor, and not just base everything off the sketchy Dr. Saperstein, as well as the Castevet's witch smoothies. At one point Guy goes to her office to get her to stop "putting ideas in Rosemary's head," a.k.a. grab a piece of her hair so the witches can get rid of the opinionated Brit (which he does by trying to forcefully kiss her). It's also revealed that Guy and Julie had slept together before he was with Rosemary but there's no follow-up, no point, nothing, just something the writers threw in for fun. That said, they did something right with her because Julie's character was the only one whom I invested any energy in. Of course, she dies a horrible and gory death in her cooking class (which looked really intense and not fun). SPOILER ALERT: the witches make someone throw boiling water on her, which causes her to slip and hit the back of her head on a sharp metal corner, which of course gashes it open and she bleeds and bleeds until she dies. Everyone in the class just sort of stands around confused like, "Oh, damn. OK."

2. After avoiding Rosemary both physically and emotionally -- because she's, uh, carrying the spawn of Hell -- Guy attempts to butter her up with a romantic dinner at home. "Voila!" he says, as he lifts the silver lids on the table to reveal two pastrami sandwiches with EXTRA pickle. "Pastrami? In Paris?!?!" Rosemary joyously asks. Why was this movie even called Rosemary's Baby? It should've just been called Pastrami in Paris. I'd watch that! Fed up with their selfish and insensitive boss, and suffering from an existential crisis, a slab of pastrami quits its job at an insurance company, and spends all the money it saved on a six moth Parisian adventure (1 hr and 47 minutes). "They're from Katz's Deli!" Guy says. Ah, yes. Apparently Katz's Deli in Manhattan delivers to Paris. Yes. OK. Good to know.

3. What was up with letting Rosemary enter the secret passageway -- the one that goes between the linen closet in her apartment and Margaux and Roman's apartment -- with nearly an hour left in the movie? This was a huge realization in the original movie; Rosemary finally understood how vulnerable she had been the entire time -- the passageway represented how easily this evil had access to her in a supposedly safe haven. The remake decimated that symbolism and had Rosemary just sort of waltz in during broad daylight with mouth agape, all while the virtually unexplained, galloping handyman is roaming around and grunting. What a terrible waste.

4. The most climactic scene in the original was when Rosemary realizes "Roman Castevet" is "Steven Marcato" in anagram, via Scrabble. The doomed Hutch, just before slipping into the witch-induced coma, had left the seemingly cryptic message in the book he sent Rosemary (All of Them Witches) that "The name is an anagram." After several attempts at understanding what her friend had meant using Scrabble words, she sees he underlined Steven Castevet in the book, the son of Head Witch in Charge Adrian Marcato. When she rearranges the name, this moment (enhanced by Krzysztof Komeda's drowned up, relentless music) is the moment the dreamlike haze this movie had existed in abruptly ends, ushering in the horrifying reality of the Castevets and their now-confirmed malicious intentions. This remake rushes through that build-up, and ends with Rosemary gasping at seeing Roman's name is an anagram for Steven Marcato. The next scene has her surfing the 'net, confirming that Steven Marcato was born in 1846, making Roman, like 170 years old? WHAT???

5. The one thing the remake did well was its consistency in how bad it was. The finale was no exception! Polanski's finale was delightfully and intentionally camped up, with everything coming together in an almost comical but nevertheless terrifying way. "Hail Satan! God is dead!" these old, smiling people shout while surrounding the black shrouded crib of Adrian, the antichrist, as a silver inverted cross hangs over like a hellish baby mobile. This perversion of Jesus in the manger is hilarious! It scares you, and makes you feel insane, and you almost have to laugh. But this remake has Rosemary's baby ACTUALLY be seen as this beautiful, blue-eyed cherub. Mia Farrow's widened, horrified eyes, while screaming "What have you done to its eyes?!" is far more effective than actually seeing the baby's eyes. Oh, it just made me sad. The re-make ends with Rosemary, after agreeing to mother Adrian and stay in Paris, walking him in a fancy stroller along the river, while a couple stop and say, "He's so beautiful!" "I know. He's perfect," Rosemary replies. I felt perfect in that moment, too, because I didn't have to watch any more of this movie.

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