Vacancy

Le Locataire (Dir. Roman Polanski, 1976)

Excerpted from
Anonymous Internet Review
[I. .e. Don’t blame me]


Le Locataire (The Tenant) is a movie by Roman Polanski, who also plays the
main role. He is the tenant. The story is based on an excellent book by
Roland Topor. It is a surrealistic tale of a man (Trelkovsky) who rents an
appartment, the previous tenant of which, Simone, has thrown herself out of
the window. In fact, she is not quite dead yet. Trelkovsky visits her in the
hospital, where he finds her totally bandaged up and unresponsive. He is
joined at the bedside by a friend of Simone, Stella, played by Adjani. When
Stella tries to talk to her friend, Simone screams a horrible long scream
that drives them away from the bed. She dies the next day.

All this is relevant because, once Trelkovsky moves into Simone’s apartment,
small things begin happening to him that are part of her life, not his. He
finds some of her belongings, he meets Stella a few times, and some of her
other friends. He reads some of the books that were left behind, he learns
what she ate in the morning, what brand of cigarettes she smoked. At the
same time, strange, inexplicable things start occurring around him.
Neighbors complain about the horrible noise he makes at night – although he
made none. Trash he happened to drop on the stairway mysteriously
disappears. Strange, staring people stand for long times in the bathroom
opposite his window. He learns a little about the variety of other unusual
people who live in the complex, all very well portrayed: the serious
landlord who doesn’t want trouble in his building, the concierge who
despises Trelkovsky, the old woman and her disabled daughter who are pushed
out of the building through a petition drive…

Back to Nathan