Le Locataire

Yes, another Polanksi film. After this one, there will be one more Noz w Wodzie. Can we PLEASE leave Samantha Geimer out of this?
Thank you.
A dark and chilling film, bordering on a masterpiece, perhaps falling short, The Tenant is the last film in Polanki’s ‘City Dweller’ trilogy. Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby and The Tenant form the trifecta of films abot the isolation of horror of urban life in cramped apartments.

The film was the last film, in my opinion that was pure Polanski. One could certainly apply the label of autuer to Polanski, and this film is a perfect exmple of that.

A young man, Trelkovsky, comes to rent a newly vacated apartment (Vacant due to suicide, right?) that a “relation” informed him was vacant. Shelley Wimters is the concierge, Melvyn Douglas is the building owner, Monsieur Zy. Basically, Trelkovsky descends into deluded, psychotic paranoid schizophrenia. He believes the people in his apartment are conspiring to kill him, while he forms an unlikely romantic attachment to the close friend of the dead girl, Stella.

Trelkovsky finally loses it completely, dresses as Simone Schuelle (which he has been doing the whole last half of the movie) one final time, and takes the same perilous plunge, in front of an imagined Royal Albert Hall audience. Twice.

What caused him to go mad? Who and hwat were the people doing in the bathroom? What was the egypt connection?

Near the end of the film, Trelkovsky dressed as Simone moves to the window and says “I think I’m pregnant.” Was Trelkovsky having an afair with Schuelle? In a fit of rage, did he push her out the window when she told him she was pregnant? Is this why she screamed when she saw him?
Never is Polanksi’s talent in composition more evident than here. The shadows, the mood, his mise en scene is truly disturbing and scary.


I thought Simone’s scream when she sees Trelkovsky in the hospital was the most chilling movie scream, for some reason. It gave me nightmares. Really. The movie also includes one of my favourite pieces of monologue. Trelkovsky is dead drunk and says something like:

“If someone cuts off my arm, I say: me and my arm. If someone tears off my leg, I say: me and my leg. If someone rips out my intestines, I say: me and my intestines. But if someone cuts off my head, why do I say: me and my body? What right has my head to call itself “me”?”

Overall, I too thought it was an excellent, and, yes, very disturbing movie.