I intook Rosemary's Baby this week. Since the viewing, I've done a fair amount of mulling as to what I should write about the psychological gem.
I thought I could write a comparison between this well established classic, with Roman Polanski's hidden jewel, The Tenant. They both swirl around a protagonist's slowly rolling apprehension that the world whole is against them. And Mr. Polanski being who he happens to be, with the experiences he's endured, doesn't ever belittle a character's fear. He exploits it.
I also thought that perhaps thought that perhaps it would be interesting to look at Rosemary's Baby (1968) from only the perspective of it being a taut conspiracy thriller. What does the film look like if the supernatural element is withdrawn? The film, I would imagine, would be a cousin to Coppola's The Conversation (1974) or perhaps even Bertolucci's The Conformist (1970). Furthermore, there's this intriguing reality that all these conspiracy flicks rolled out during a span of just a few years. Surely there's a Vietnam connection there. But doing that takes all the fun out of the film -- because everyone knows Tanas root is an anagram for Satan's root! This cannot be ignored!
I then strapped my attention to the film's audacious and obtuse ending. What was Rosemary deciding? Could it be that she was choosing to raise the little demon amongst that cult after all? This debate might have a lot of fuel with someone else who sees the finale as something more ambiguous, but for me the deal is done. Rosemary is a character who kept taking shortcuts. She didn't want to conform, per se, but she inevitably is led to time and time again. She doesn't have the gall or mettle to resist the mark of the beast.
I am not satisfied. None of these topics will do. What is important to me -- to my life!!!!!! -- is whether or not Rosemary had a choice? Could she have ever hoped to overcome her assailants?
I presume, being that it appears that Rosemary's son may be the Antichrist, or some other foul demon of the end of days, it is reasonable to conclude that what we are dealing with here is the stuff of Revelation. And when we talk of the Book of Revelation, things change quickly.
The Book of Revelation consumes us with a terrifying and awesome world. If we are to have hope, if we are to remain until the end, we are called to do one thing:
Are you ready?
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God. 2:7
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.* 2:11
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it. 2:17
He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations... 2:26
He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 3:5
I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 3:11-12
He who overcomes, I will grant o him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 3:21-22
Each of these seven promises comes at the end of each message to the seven churches. The rest of the Book of Revelation is filled with many-a-horrific thing. He tells us ahead of time why we should overcome, and then subsequently graphically depicts why it's going to be so hard too endure.
Rosemary could have used a message. Notice that the churches are not told that they will escape torment. They are only told to persevere.
This is what Rosemary never heard.
She never had a chance. But we do.
And after all is done: Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers ans idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." 21:6-8
*All Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible