Your interpretation is justified--if you read the "cine-novel" by Alain Robbe-Grillet, the rape is more explicit. However, I think Robbe-Grillet and Resnais deliberately leave room for other interpretations as well. The BFI book on MARIENBAD by Jean-Louis Leutrat mentions a Breton legend in which Death returns for a woman after she has asked him to wait for a year--I think that's a compelling notion, as is the idea that the man is trying to persuade the woman by hypnosis.Dr. Geek wrote:What a delightfully hypnotic film. Those interior shots, the movement of the cameras . . . I've heard the film described as being "nearly impenetrable," but I felt the cues dictating what was memory and what was presently occurring were obvious but well-crafted. Furthermore, I didn't feel the plot was cryptic at all. I interpreted the film as a story of a woman's rape and her blocking out all the memories that led up to it and possibly following it. It makes sense to me, anyway. All those people remaining still. They can't continue doing what they are doing if the memory of those events remains frozen, hidden away in the recesses of the mind.
I enjoyed it as a haunting horror story, but found that it was not as puzzling as it has been made out to be.
But you're right, the film is not all that "difficult" in the usual sense if you watch it with an open mind.