AskDefine | Define repulsion

Dictionary Definition



1 the force by which bodies repel one another [syn: repulsive force] [ant: attraction]
2 intense aversion [syn: repugnance, revulsion, horror]
3 the act of repulsing or repelling an attack; a successful defensive stand [syn: standoff]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The act of repelling or the condition of being repelled.
  2. An extreme dislike of something, or hostility to something.
  3. The repulsive force acting between bodies of the same electric charge or magnetic polarity.


  • Telugu: వికర్షణ

Extensive Definition

Repulsion is a 1965 film directed by Roman Polanski on a scenario by Gerard Brach and Roman Polanski. It was Polanski's first English language film, and was filmed in Britain. The cast includes Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Yvonne Furneaux, with a cameo appearance by Roman Polanski himself. It is widely considered a masterpiece of the psychological thriller.

Plot summary

Carol (played by a 20-year-old Deneuve) is a young Belgian virgin, who is both repelled and attracted by the idea of sex due to repressed feelings. Timid and fragile, she lives in London with her sister Helen (Furneaux). When Helen leaves on a holiday to Italy with her married boyfriend (Hendry), Carol is left alone. Isolated at work too, she shuts herself up in their apartment, and becomes a slave of her own paranoid fears, unable to tell fantasy from reality, and begins to hallucinate. She violently kills a would-be suitor, Colin (Fraser), using a candlestick, and later the landlord (Patrick Wymark) who attempts to rape her. When her sister returns home, she finds Carol under her bed, catatonic, and only a shell of her former self.


The apartment is presented as nightmarish: it is full of weird shadows and dark corners seen from unusual angles. Hands protrude from walls and everyday objects transform into objects of horror.
One of the best-known images is that of a rabbit, which was being prepared for dinner but never cooked. The rabbit sits in the corner of the room throughout the film with a straight razor also on the plate. As the film progresses, the rabbit begins to rot while first maggots and then flies feed on the carcass. The deteriorating state of the rabbit parallels that of our protagonist.
Repulsion is the first of Polanski's "apartment trilogy" (the other two being Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant). As in those two films, the horrors are not external threats, but rather the horrors that lie within the minds of the protagonists.

Similar films

  • Rosemary's Baby (1968), by Roman Polanski.
  • π (1998), by Darren Aronofsky, includes spoofs.
  • May (2002), by Lucky McKee, was heavily influenced by the film, and has a similar motif of the protagonist's apartment mirroring her mental state.
Music videos for The Cardigans' "Hanging Around" and Metric's "Monster Hospital" were directly inspired by the film.


repulsion in German: Ekel (Film)
repulsion in Spanish: Repulsión
repulsion in French: Répulsion (film)
repulsion in Italian: Repulsione
repulsion in Dutch: Repulsion (film)
repulsion in Polish: Wstręt (film)
repulsion in Portuguese: Repulsion (filme)
repulsion in Russian: Отвращение (фильм)
repulsion in Swedish: Repulsion

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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