|Trelkovsky (Roman Polanski)|
This Polanski film is very similar to his earlier film called Repulsion from 1965 with Catherine Deneuve. That film was rather low budget and moody, but a well made international follow up to his Polish success Knife In The Water. It had to do with poor Catherine slowly going mad in her apartment. This time it’s Polanski who goes nuts in his apartment. I forgot how tiny Polanski is not just in height, but overall size.
The film begins with Polanski showing up to see an apartment he believes is available for rent. Shelly Winters is the concierge and shows him the apartment. Melvyn Douglas owns the building. It turns out the apartment is for rent because the woman who was in there before just recently leapt out the window, falling through the glass below, and is now in the hospital. You also have to go halfway around the building to reach the bathroom. Despite these facts, Polanski takes the room.
He visits the previous tenant in the hospital and she gives out a terrifying scream. Things just go downhill from there. Everything seems to be closing in on him until he actually starts to transform himself into the woman who was there before. He starts painting his nails, wearing a wig and her clothes as the real world becomes almost entirely replaced by delusion until the film’s end.
|The Previous Tenant|
|You Don’t Realize How Small Polanski Is Until You See Him In Heels|
The film drags a bit around the middle. You start wondering when it’s going to move on and get on with it. However once it does, things go smoothly. Polanski retained Bergman’s cinematographer Sven Nykvist so needless to say it’s gorgeous. This is one to pull out around Halloween. I recommend it.