The Tenant Movie (1979) Explained

The Tenant movie review & film summary (1976) | The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1979) Explained
  1. Trelkovsky waited for Simon to die take her place

    When Trelkovsky knew that Simon (the old tenant) might come back to the apartment after she heals, he kept checking on her ‘while hiding his identity’ infront of her friend because he felt guilty.

  2. Trelkovsky ended up being like Simon

    Ever since Tarkovsky took over the apartment, he started to become more like Simon. He went to have a cup of hot chocolate everyday, ,he dressed like her and he even ended up in a huge cast like her.

  3. Simon’s soul took over Trelkovsky’s mind

    Simon’s soul started to to get into Tarkovsky’s mind, which was made possible through the Egyptology work he left behind and the teeth that was burried somewhere in the room. Some people think that this feeling of haunting could also be his own guilt. This was left for the audience to decide.

  4. Trelkovsky turns into Simon and follows her destiny

    When Trelkovsky starts to deny his identity, he begins to forget who he really is so he starts wearing Simon’s clothes and at the end he kills himself the same way she did.

  5. Trelkovsky got robbed

    When Trelkovsky’s apartment got robbed, he only found his own possessions missing, while Simon’s were still there. This was a symbolic turn over in the movie where the director reveals Tarkovsky’s gradual loss of his self.

  6. The oppressive neighbors demanded silence

    All the weird things that happened to Trelkovsky made him want to express his anger, but whenever he tries, the oppressive neighbors get angry at him because they always demanded silence.

  7. Madame Dioz wants to eject a tenant from the building

    There was a scene where Madame Dioz tried to make Trelkovsky sign a petition to eject a tenant out of her apartment and when he refused, she threatened him that she would make a note of his attitude. (See The Number 23 (2007) Movie Explained)

  8. Sound was life in the film

    To Tarkovsky, sound was life and denying noise because everyone in the apartment agreed on this made him feel that they wanted him to drop dead. That’s why he imagined Madame Diaz strangling him.

  9. The residents of the building are xenophobic

    Trelkovsky faced a lot of discrimination because he’s Polish even though he’s a French citizen.

  10. The building resembled the society

    Even though the people didn’t really want Terlkovsky to drop himself out of a window, they really wanted him to leave the building. This was a symbolism of Polanski’s experience living abroad during the time of the holocaust, as whenever he went to a country, people wanted him out.

  11. The ending was symbolic

    The ending was Terlkovsky’s own imagination as he thought that he turned into Simon, the girl that threw herself the same way he did.

  12. The film represents the breakdown of modern communication

    The Tenant has a nihilistic vision where Polanski documents the breakdown of modern communication, as the limits of privacy are no longer valued. (See Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) Movie Explained)

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