Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Tenant 1976

This is Tenant directed by Roman Polanski and also stars as the main role as Trelkovsky who moves into a flat where the previous tenant has recently commited sucicide so already at the start of the film there is the tension of the atmosphere where strange things has happened. After Trelkovsky has settled into the flat there is an immediate disagreement from the neighbours that seem to single him out to complain about noises they hear at an impropiate time of the morning. "... but that his life was famously one of nearly-constant references to Trelkovsky's alien status, even as he feebly protests that he is a French citizen, are surely resonant with Polanski's well-documented feelings as an exotic outsider in the Hollowood community." (Brayton, 2005 - 2010), the evidence shows that Polanski has used references of his traumatic past for the disturbing themes for his films especially in this film as he is Polish and doesn't fit into society because he is not a true French citizen so could never belong amoungst the people.

Figure 1,Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant still 

There is strong use of tableu vivant style used in the scenes where Trelkovsky spies on the flat opposite and the people are frozen and suspended in time creating a perfect freeze frame which leaves the audience totally confused as to what is happening as there are no clues or suggestions to inform the intentions of the frozen characters. As the film progresses Polanski is in the opposite flat and looks over at himself peering through the overside with binoculars which could be seen as his future and past colliding into one scene. Evidence of this theory is shown at the end of the film where it seems to loop back round to the start where Trelkovsky and Stella visit the dying Simone in hospital wrapped in bandages but seen in the point of view of the bandaged victim which is Trelkovsky rushed to hospital after trying to commit sucicide. This scene questions if there was a 'Simone' in the first place or an invented character in Trelkovsky's subconcious due to his mad delusions, also the use of his past and future self used in one space.

Figure 2,Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant still 

Trelkovsky begins to have dellusions that pressures him to slowly become Simone, this starts subtly with him choosing Simone's favourite chair and cigarettes in the restaurant to buying wigs, shoes and outfit to crossdress as this person. He believes it is the unfriendly neighbours that are inspiring these changes to follow the footsteps of Simone and kill himself as Trelkovsky infurates them with the way he behaves in his lifestyle and the fact that he wouldn't sign the petition to evict another neighbour they have conspired to be against. Towards the end of the film, Trelkovsky can't trust anyone including Stella who he could tell everything to which pushes the character over the edge. “Although overshadowed by director Roman Ploanski's  more famous horror efforts, REPULSION and ROSEMARY’S BABY, the more obscure THE TENANT is actually their equal and in many ways their superior — a haunting, mesmerizing tale of a man’s loss of identity and descent into madness.” (Biodroski, 2010), the evidence reveals that Polanski's aim of this film was to create the scenero of a character that has been totally been cut off from real life and people who were once trusted friends and because of this the subconcious has found an escape through the dellusions to haunt the characters of 'Simone' and what they susposedly drove her to do. 

 Figure 3,Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant still 

 Figure 4,Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant still 

The neighbours are seen in a dark light in Polanski's films to change the image of the familiar friendly people that live close by and rely on into a set of people that have a need to interfere and inflict their opinions of how certain things should be within society and how people should behave. The theme is strongly used in this particular film because the moment Trelkovsky steps into the building, the neighbours hound on the type of figure he is (a bachelor) and how they don't what him to behave in this manner. After the reasonable complaints of 'the music is too loud', the neighbours seemed to be obsessed with finding a reason to complain when in some cases Trelkovsky can't really be blamed as he wasn't in his room or succumbed to his insaine dellusions and not in the right frame of mind to act naturally. "A disturbing and poignant anthology of Roman Polanski's favourite, oppressive themes." (Newman, 2010), the evidence proclaims that Polanski uses these themes in many of his films because they don't imply horror in the usual way but instead a subtle approach of how the whole atmosphere changes due to the frame of mind of the character who becomes obsessed of the other characters using them and drive them to the point of insanity because it is the only alternative for the subconcious to deal with the situation, the audience experiences this turn of reality to insaine dream - like state as the film slowly plays out with small subtle changes to the extreme measures the character takes. Through the dellusions the characters apparantly involved in the conspiracy seem to be mocking and pointing up at him, waiting for Trelkovsky to jump, after the first attempt the neighbours are woken and gather round him. In Trelkovsky's mind, the neighbours are shown to be cornering and trying to capture him as if he was a wild animal or a freak due to the way he is dressed.

Figure 5,Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant still 

Figure 6,Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant still 

Figure 7,Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant still 


Figure 1, Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant (Le Locataire) (1976), @, Accessed on: 25th July

Figure 2, Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant (Le Locataire) (1976), @, Accessed on: 25th July
Figure 3, Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant (Le Locataire) (1976), @, Accessed on: 25th July

Figure 4, Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant (Le Locataire) (1976), @, Accessed on: 25th July

Figure 5, Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant (Le Locataire) (1976), @, Accessed on: 25th July

Figure 6, Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant (Le Locataire) (1976), @, Accessed on: 25th July

Figure 7, Vage Bond, (2007), The Tenant (Le Locataire) (1976), @, Accessed on: 25th July


Biodroski Steve, (2010), Cinefantastique The Tenant, @, Accessed on: 11th December 2009

Brayton Tim, (2005-2010), The Official Charity of Antagony & Ectasy, Apartment House Fools, @, Accessed on: 06th May 2007

Newman Kim, (2010), Empire reviews, @, Accessed on: 18th February 2010

1 comment:

  1. 'This is Tenant directed by Roman Polanski...'

    Hey Adam - I notice that you tend to start your reviews this same way - 'This is Rosemary's Baby...' I'd suggest that you don't need to do this, because it's stating the obvious. Just get started on the content straight away... 'cut to the chase'