Sunday, 9 January 2011

Review Of 'The Tenant'

Fig 1 Polanski, Roman (1976)The Tenant Poster
[Film Poster] From:The Tenant

http://static.letsbuyit.com/filer/images/uk/products/original/139/47/the-tenant-1976-dvd-13947768.jpeg
Fig 1 - The Tenant Poster



Without doubt the Tenant is a Polanski milkshake as it ‘almost an anthology of Roman Polanski’s favourite, oppressive themes – presenting a Paris apartment which is as threatening as the London digs of Repulsion, nasty neighbours who are as demonic as those in Rosemary’s Baby and identity-switch games as humiliating as Cul-de-Sac.’ -  Kim Newman. Not to mention messing psychologically with viewers as the film is more than relatable as the evil is nothing more than the mind of man.

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Fig 2 - Monsieur Zy Through The Peep Hole

The Tenant (Le locataire) is a storyline following a young and shy bureaucrat Trelkovsky (played by Polanski). After renting an old apartment following the recent suicide attempt from the previous tenant (Simone Choule). Whilst at his new abode he becomes fascinated with previous tenant and after visiting her succumbs to the madness believing in a conspiracy that the his fellow neighbours are changing him in to being Simone so they can kill him too.
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Fig 3 - Stella

The film nevertheless doesn’t share the charisma that his previous classic shares. ‘Frustratingly, because so much of the film is so odd, little is ever explained. But the macabre tone and eerie appearance (thanks to Ingmar Bergman's cinematographer Sven Nykvist) mark it out as an intriguing depiction of mental breakdown built round a dark comic performance by the director himself.’ – . As a viewer we can naturally see the connection to persona as a reticent, inconspicuous and in turn patsy man and by extension allowing use to connect to a film on a personal level. For this reason Polanski, directive in which the film unfolds seem more than riveting to the viewer as we watch Trelkovsky slow but surely lose his sanity as the pressure piles up and can relate to ourselves or someone we know.  As for Trelkovsky characteristic he implies himself as a respectful man and one who concern himself with matter that aren’t necessarily concerning to him. For this reason we gather a lot of empathy with Trelkovsky and we see it increase gradually as the torment of his surrounding neighbours and work colleagues devour his sanity as his pushed over the edge. 

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Fig 4 - Trelovsky Insanity

Moreover the charades he faces become excruciating to watch as they get more and more disturbing. As a civil war in the building between Madame Dioz and Madame Gaderian over her daughter reached climax - having Madame Dioz partitioning to get rid of the Gaderian and the her retaliation by defecating in from each neighbours door. In essence, persisting on his mind as the consequences of not signing the partition decreased his popularity with the neighbours which would have decreased further when he became void of excrements for saving the Gaderians if not for replanting the excrements in front of his door.  Polanski ‘s extremity creates an almost nightmarish environment which we get sucked into whilst watching in turn make it easy to connected and understand the insanity. 

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Fig 5 - Polanksi Directing

From another perspective Polanski implies a previous insanity as the dream in which Trelkovsky envision himself are nothing more than bizarre.  His infatuation play closely with reality and in effect makes us ponder the reality from fiction throughout, nevertheless keeping us eager to see what happen next and how the dream will escalate. Yet with this comes a disadvantage as the film seems completely confusing and makes us lose track on the story. 

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Fig 6 - Polankski Struggle Up the Stairs

Moreover the film lacks enough contents to explain to it viewers the reasons for the infatuation or if not the reality. For example we ponder the reason for the hieroglyphics on the toilet or the reasoning behind his neighbour staring through the window. For this reason, there is a split opinion between this motion picture, as one quote states ‘It's a wonder nobody was killed in the rush to get out. "The Tenant's" not merely bad -- it's an embarrassment. If it didn't have the Polanski trademark, we'd probably have to drive miles and miles and sit in a damp basement to see it.’ - Roger Ebert. Without doubt questioning it popularity as the film is a more niche product. Or for the simple fact that it instils fears due to the fact it a bit close to home.

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Fig 7 - Breach Of Insanity
 
Nevertheless the film doesn’t lie completely in a positive light. Naturally because of the lack of answer which infuriates some viewer. In term of Polanski artistic license he displays a more of documentary of a man going into insanity. A display intent on making the viewer connect with the protagonist in extension making ‘The Tenant’ more horrific than his predecessors. Nevertheless the ending of the film the big twist of himself being in the bed or Simone? (Thanks to the bandages we’ll never know). Suggests the latter and for this reason implies that the film is nothing more than an infatuation of Trelkovsky as come to see her in the hospital.  Yet without this explanation Polanski reinstate the factor of the uncanny. 




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Fig 8- Old Tenant Or Polanski Twist Ending


 List Of Illustrations 

Fig 1 Polanski, Roman (1976)The Tenant Poster
[Film Poster] From:The Tenant

Fig 2 Polanski, Roman (1976)Monsieur Zy Through The Peep Hole
[Film Still] From:The Tenant
Fig 3 Polanski, Roman (1976)Stella
[Film Still] From:The Tenant


Fig 4 Polanski, Roman (1976)Polanksi Directing
[Film Still] From:The Tenant

Fig 5 Polanski, Roman (1976)Trelovsky Insanity
[Film Still] From:The Tenant

Fig 6 Polanski, Roman (1976)Polankski Struggle Up the Stairs
[Film Still] From:The Tenant

Fig 7 Polanski, Roman (1976)Breach Of Insanity
[Film Still] From:The Tenant

Fig 8 Polanski, Roman (1976)Old Tenant Or Polanski Twist Ending
[Film Still] From:The Tenant

 


Bibliograph

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