In the film, Polanski plays a quiet man who moves into a small apartment recently vacated by a woman who committed suicide by jumping out of the window -- for unknown reasons. Polanski's Trelkovsky quickly becomes embroiled in mysterious goings-on, including a dalliance with a stranger (Isabelle Adjani) he encounters at the hospital while visiting the former tenant's death bed, endless creepy apartment-mates, and a slow descent into insanity as he becomes obsessed with the life of the former tenant.
Ultimately Trelkovsky is driven mad, dressing as a woman and all but following in the former tenant's footsteps.
As a psychological thriller, The Tenant is a little muddier than, say, Rosemary's Baby, as it offers a quirky but murky plot that bounces from one bizarre encounter to another. That's part of the joy of The Tenant, though -- you never know where it'll take you next, you never know what's real and what's just in Trelkovsky's head.
Perhaps the greatest moment in the film comes near the start, when Trelkovsky is asked whether he'll be entertaining ladies in the evening and making lots of noise. Polanski's character demurely responds that he's not that kind of man. Of course, a year later, Polanski would flee the country after being convicted of statutory rape.
The Tenant's mysteries are thick indeed.
Aka Le Locataire.
Run time: 126 mins
In Theaters: Friday 11th June 1976
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 3
IMDB: 7.8 / 10
Director: Roman Polanski
Producer: Andrew Braunsberg
Starring: J. Larose as Jeff, Michael Berryman as Arthur Delman, Bill Cobbs as Jack Rymer, Randy Molnar as Dr. Newman, Georgia Chris as Olivia, Sylvia Boykin as Ms. Tinsley, Aerica D'Amaro as Liz, Justin Smith as Rob, Ashley Totin as Loni, Jennifer Sterger as Erin, John Kyle Grady as Adam
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