No doubt you have read our review of the Rosemary’s Baby mini-series back in May. Our editor-in-chief hated it (read Bill Bodkin’s reviews of Part 1 and Part 2), which was a popular opinion with viewers. I did hear some good reviews, showing that the mini-series had its good qualities as well so, when this happens, I like to watch whatever special features I can on the home release so I can hear the stories of the people involved to sort of fill in any blanks.
It is easy to watch something and judge it based on what you take from it but the story changes completely when you hear it from the mouths of the writers, directors and actors so, I got a copy of the Blu-ray release and checked out the special features. Luckily there is a making of featurette called “Fear Is Born: The Making of Rosemary’s Baby.”
The first thing Zoe Saldana, who played Rosemary (and produced the mini-series), says is “The desire wasn’t to do a remake of Roman Polanski’s version Rosemary’s Baby. It was actually to tell the story again from different eyes in today’s world and set in Paris, a different city.” I believe people go into remakes or re-tellings with bias, almost immediately hating these films because they don’t live up to the amazing stories we grew up with from these amazing directors and storytellers. Now, while I agree that most remakes could not possibly outdo an original, I think it is unfair to judge with biased eyes.
The director, Agnieszk Holland, said the film is open to interpretation. You can assume the baby is evil or perfectly normal. You can think of the film as a horror story, a satanic fable or a metaphor for the difficulty of giving birth. You could even see the film as perhaps a psychotic break that Rosemary is experiencing as a result of her pregnancy. She wanted the viewer to take whatever they wanted from it. She supplied the viewer with many angles to see from. So while you may have watched from the point of view given to us by Polanski, you may now see it a different way with the new information supplied by the director. The featurette certainly gave me a few things to think about when watching for the second time.
There is another featurette called “Grand Guignol: Parisian Production Design” giving us a look at the items in the background that you may not have noticed that tell their own pieces of the story. Again, I suggest watching so you can see all of the things you may have missed during your first viewing so you can look for them when you give the mini-series a second chance.
Make sure you take a look at the special features when you pick up your own copy of Rosemary’s Baby. They just might change your original opinion.
Rosemary’s Baby is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate Films.