The Tenant

The Tenant (1976)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Shelley Winters
Extras: Trailer

A good portion of paranoia, thrown in with a mysterious thriller and the gloomy yet somewhat exotic atmosphere of a French city is the recipe Roman Polanski uses for his film ’The Tenant.’ In a sense he revisits ’Rosemary’s Baby’ here, only with a different character and without the supernatural twist, instead giving the film a very strong social commentary. The result is fascinating, brooding and mesmerizing to say the least. A film full of bizarre characters, strange encounters and unique visuals.

Paramount Home Video is presenting ’The Tenant’ in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The transfer is very clean and free of blemishes of any sort, and no notable grain is evident. The film’s colors are stable and perfectly reproduce Polanski’s drab and somewhat pastel-colored palette without problems. The film is very dark at times and as such correct black levels are essential to bring out the best of the film. Fortunately the DVD once again excels, rendering blacks solid and without break-up, while making sure shadow definition is always maintained meticulously. The slightest hint of edge-enhancement is visible in a few select scenes but it is never becoming distracting. The compression is equally well handled and is free of artifacts.

As has become standard with Paramount’s DVD releases ,the DVD contains the film’s original, untampered-with audio track. In this case, it means we get to witness a monaural Dolby Digital track in English and French complemented by optional English and French subtitles.

No extras are found on this release, other than the movie’s theatrical trailer.

’The Tenant’ is a magnificent film that explores many social and behavioral themes in a way that keeps viewers on the edge throughout. Don’t miss this great film. It has been turned into a great DVD. Clearly devoid of exciting extras but nonetheless focusing on the essential part – the feature presentation.