“Baby Ruby” shows a woman who has just become a mother, suffering from postpartum depression, which has made her almost psychotic. However, in trying to showcase this condition, the film suffers from the oversaturation of elements used to uphold the hallucination and frenzy. The continuous bombardment of uncertainty over what is real and what is not becomes too much to take in after a point of time. Thus, the film, despite addressing such a serious issue, almost becomes a test of the viewer’s patience. Is this intended, considering the plot of the film? Or have the makers taken things too far in the wrong direction? Let’s talk more and analyze it ourselves.
‘Baby Ruby’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
Josephine, AKA Jo, hails from France and is married to Spencer. She has a lifestyle blog where she shares almost every new experience of her life, including her recent DIY baby shower. She is shopping for her baby, decorating her home, and doing all these things with mirth. But the birth of baby Ruby is bloody (to be specific) and is followed immediately by Jo’s postpartum. She isn’t able to realize what’s real and what’s not, and she ends up thinking that her baby is angry with her for some unknown reason. She pulls away from her newly-befriended mothers’ circle. She also thinks that her husband and her mother-in-law are together against her, and she even pulls a knife on them at one point, thinking that they will take her baby away by claiming that she is crazy. Will Jo be able to come out of this situation? Or will baby Ruby get the better of her?
Josephine is a lifestyle blogger, and her popularity seemingly makes her think she knows how to go about things better than others, even motherhood. She has posted a blog about her baby shower, which she has planned on her own, as well as one about how she has redecorated her home to welcome her baby. Everything is sorted the way it needs to be, and she will be effective as a mother just like she is effective in everything else, apparently, or so she thinks. But when Ruby arrives, everything goes haywire. Jo has absolutely no control over whatever’s happening to her, and this disrupts her “mechanism,” one that had functioned so nicely until Ruby arrived. This inability, along with her postpartum, takes a toll on her mind as she begins to think that people will take Ruby away because she cannot take care of her, something that she was supposed to have done like an expert. This is the bubble she lives in, thanks to her so-called lifestyle influencer status.
Giving birth to a baby is stressful, to say the least, both on a physical and emotional level. Naturally, after giving birth, a mother requires a lot of time to come out of that phase. The recovery isn’t easy, as there are immense mood swings. “Baby Ruby” takes these changes and gives them the shape of hallucinations and dreams. And we are brought so close to Josephine (almost watching everything from her POV) that we, too, are forced to be confused between what is reality and what is a dream or hallucination in the film. Needless to say, a part of this trauma also results from the demands that come with Jo being a blogger. Being a lifestyle blogger, she has always found her suggestions and opinions appreciated and given shape by her readers. In other words, she is good at what she does. However, for her daughter Ruby, it is not so; she turns everything upside down (for Jo at least), making Jo think that she is angry with her.
‘Baby Ruby’ Ending Explained – Does Josephine Come Out Of Her Postpartum Phase?
We do not know the answer to this question because the film leaves us with a weird open-ended sequence. Towards the end, we see her escaping from her husband and mother-in-law in her car with Ruby. At one point, she loses control of the car, and everything goes dark. Jo opens her eyes in the hospital and finds out from Spencer that Ruby is alright and at home. It seems that her hallucinations and all the other stuff she was going through are gone. Unfortunately, at the very end of the film, it seems that she is not yet free of her condition, as we see her run after a woman who has taken Ruby. This woman turns out to be Josephine herself. We see this Josephine hand over Ruby to our Josephine, saying that she isn’t afraid of her (our Josephine) anymore. Is this some kind of reunion that Josephine has with her scared self? Maybe. We can only hope that she has found solace and doesn’t think that Ruby is angry with her anymore. Perhaps she was angry with herself all along for not being able to pull off motherhood, and since she couldn’t accept it, she vented it out on her baby, little Ruby, who was the reason for it all.
“Baby Ruby,” with its postpartum depression that tends towards horror, gets overextended due to its plot. There is only so much that we, the viewers, can take in, but the film just bombards us continuously with Josephine’s inability to differentiate the real from the unreal, which becomes irritating after a point of time. It won’t be a surprise if someone decides to skip the film after watching it to a certain point. From start to finish, it is just Josephine and her constant struggle. The film reaches a point where it almost loses touch with its subject and goes in a different direction, thereby taking the risk of making almost no sense. There needs to be a limit to the inexplicability of such things in films, which will allow us to accept them and not disregard them just because we are fed up, especially when a film is dealing with such a serious issue. Unfortunately, “Baby Ruby” goes the other way, and you might want to do the same after watching the film for a bit.
See more: ‘Baby Ruby,’ Themes, Explained: A Tense Thriller About The Nightmare Of Postpartum Psychosis