Based on the novel by the same name, the film Rosemary’s Baby follows the life of a submissive housewife named Rosemary who becomes unknowingly impregnated by the devil after her husband joins the witch coven from their new apartment building. She gives birth to a son but is horrified to see how inhuman he looks. Despite this her instincts as a mother takes over and she accepts her faith. The poster of Rosemary’s Baby serves as false advertisement by highly embellishing the idea that an explicit evil (any force or person that corrupts and or maltreats its victim for immoral reasons) is resent throughout a majority of the film.
It takes on details from the climax and magnifies it to the point where it gives the audience an exaggerated impression of what occurs in the film. Rosemary’s baby, Adrian, does not appear until after his dramatic birth toward the end of the film, and yet his cameo in the poster suggests that the evil is after him despite that until the climax Rosemary is proven to be a paranoid mother. In the poster the silhouette of an old fashioned stroller is on a rocky hill. This hints to a constant danger as it is obvious that with the smallest movement the stroller can go over the hill.
This simple choice of location plays on the human emotions because the audience can not help but fear for the child. While one can argue that it is a metaphor for Rosemary’s fear of the safety of her child her willingness to believe in the supernatural and frantic behavior causes to the audience to question is the baby truly in jeopardy. By placing the stroller on the hill the artist makes it appear that the baby is likely to be a victim of the questionable evil from the film. Instead of putting shadows or hints of light so that we can see the details of the stroller, it is a solid black.
The solid black stroller leaves this feeling of the unknown as if the artist was trying to hide the true form of the child. To know its form would be to know that Adrian is just another object of the darkness and therefore has no reason to fear the evil. The people Rosemary believed would intend to hurt him actually wish to worship and care for him because he is the son of Satan. This image of innocence being corrupted that the artist has created is a way of creating sympathy and interest from his audience.
To further build sympathy and fear for the child in a dangerous situation , the artist utilizes simple yet emanding diction that gives the audience a sense that the evil goal is to injure the child and thus the child needs saving. Contrasting with the black background, in white letters the phrase “Pray for Rosemary’s baby” can be seen in the lower half of the poster. The phrase is about the same size as the stroller and rest just a few inches below the stroller. This causes the audience to view the baby first in order to feel the anxiety about it possibly falling to its death before looking down towards the words that seek help for Adrian.
By using religious context it appeals to people morals. It says this child is pure and that there s something wrong. In fact the phrase orders the audience. The straightforward use of pray is the artist way of insisting that something is hurting the baby and thus needs religious intervention to be safe once again. The use of the term ‘baby instead of Adrian continues to push the idea of his innocence. ‘Baby’ tells us that he is young and most likely virtuous because he has not had time to sin in his life.
Adrian does not hint toward what age the person would be and thus it is harder to feel empathy because the need to protect an adult is not as strong as the need to protect a child. Even if Adrian is a baby it is ronic to use the term pray seeing as who his father is, but that is why the artist choose to use ” Rosemary’s baby. ” We are told to pray for Rosemary’s child so that as the audience watches the film they can focus on the fact that Adrian is a baby not on who the father is. The artist could have choose to use the phrase ” pray for Satan’s baby” so that it would not appear that the baby is in danger of an evil.
Some would say that the phrase just plays on the title of the film, but the title is repeated toward the end of the posters and thus there is no need to chose Rosemary unless to hide that there is no true risk for Adrian. Adrian has been given this wholesome characterization from the diction presented in the poster and therefore we assume he is the innocent person who needs saving but with Rosemary’s blank expression there is also an assumption that she is the explicit evil despite that she turns out to be the victim of a larger plan. In the poster the head of Rosemary is looking upward with her face void of emotion.
She is placed above her child’s stroller but instead of a silhouette we are given a faded version of Rosemary. The artist choice of a faded image instead of a silhouette allows the audience to see the details in her face. It is trange to see such a blank face when she is shown to be a very emotion character. In the film she has been shown to be happy, disgusted, afraid, ill, etc. and yet the artist shows none of these expressions. At the very least the poster should show her face full of disgust and or fear since that was the emotion clearly present in the film when she discovers the faith of her child.
By choosing an inexpressive Rosemary the artist suggest that she is most likely the evil in Adrian’s life. Below her her child is in peril and yet she does not show concern. A negligent mother is an evil for baby who relies heavily on its mother. If the mother deprives the child of what it needs then she is morally corrupt. However Rosemary could never be described as a careless mother because she does whatever she can to keep her unborn child safe from the witch coven before learning the truth. The artist fails to capture her passion for her child and therefore is a false advertisement of whom Rosemary is.
The one characteristic the artist gets right about Rosemary is her hair. After discovering she is pregnant the new mother goes out and shortens her bob cut to an even shorter hairstyle as a celebration of the news. The bob cut made her appear like a oll, almost child like, and when she gets her haircut she began to look sickly, almost deathlike. This deathlike appearance was not helped by her abnormal pregnancy. The question becomes then why did the artist choose to portray her with short hair. A fact about Rosemary not unveiled by the poster was the she was raised a Catholic.
In 1 Corinthians 11:6 it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut. The artist choice to portray her with the second hairstyle is a representation of how she is a failure of the church since she allowed the evil to take over her and her child. She is looking up into the sky where God is said to be in er religion yet there is a disconnection. Therefore the audience is demanded to pray for Rosemary’s baby since his mother has lost her connection with God. Visually the poster is aesthetically beautiful but fails to capture the film.
Adrian appears to be in danger in the poster but in the film the presence of danger stems from his mother’s paranoia. If Rosemary’s Baby occured in a reality where the supernatural was an accepted truth then her conclusion about the coven would be easier to accept. We are demanded to pray for Adrian and yet his innocence is a cover up of his parentage. Rosemary, the true victim in the film, s portrayed as this empty vesicle in the poster that cares nothing for her child despite her fight to protect him.
In reality is she more of a victim then her son. The psychological horror Rosemary goes through builds the suspense even though we are following the mundane life of the 1960s. The poster hints to an innocence that has been obviously corrupted in the film even though the audience would have to go back and reflect on how Rosemary has been harmed mentally and emotionally. By focusing on details from the climax of the film the artist remains unsuccessful at capturing how well the presence of evil was hidden in the film.