I suppose. But if a woman sees Repulsion at a certain point in her life, Deneuve’s character’s disgust at the constant sexual come-ons she is subjected to seem, in their own way, utterly sane. Slipping into solitary insanity is seductive, like easing into a warm bath.
Is Polanski saying that women who don’t care for sex are automatically crazy? I don’t think he’s that simpleminded.
And Deneuve is certainly nerve-racking. She is so physically flawless that she often seems half human: An anemic girl, she can barely lift up her arm, yet at the same time she is highly sensual, an ample, heavily breathing woman with more than a glint of carnality in her dreamily vacant eyes. Deneuve makes one feel the confusion of a corrupted child: She is an arrested adolescent who, like an anorexic, cannot face her womanliness without visions of perverse opulence and violence. Carol is the personification of sexual mystery—she is what lurks beneath the orgasms of pleasure and pain. What Polanski finds intriguing and revolting is perceptively female, making Repulsion a woman’s picture more than women may want to know, or care to face.