The Fat and the Lean

1961

Comedy / Music / Short

164
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 1,155

Synopsis


Downloaded times
January 12, 2021

Director

Cast

Roman Polanski as The lean
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
138.08 MB
1280*720
No linguistic content 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
15 min
P/S N/A / N/A
256.41 MB
1920×1080
No linguistic content 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
15 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by debblyst 10 / 10 / 10

One of Polanski's very best

In this awesome short film without any dialog, Polanski himself gives a masterclass in physical comedy playing the lean servant/slave straining himself to exhaustion in his efforts to entertain his rotund and blasé master (André Katelbach), who sits idly in his rocking chair all day long on the lawn of a decrepit house doing absolutely nothing. The servant plays music for his master, cooks for him, spoon-feeds him, wipes his sweaty face, shades him from the sun, shaves him and even helps him urinate. One day, the servant -- observing the city of Paris from afar -- realizes there must be more to life than being exploited and decides to run away. But the master, suddenly energetic, beats him up and chains a goat to the servant's ankle! -- now the servant has to do all his work in chains AND look after the goat! The lyrical, symbolic finale (which I won't give away) pokes fun at that old strategy much practiced in politics: if things are bad, make them worse; remove then the "worse" and what looked like "bad" is going to feel like heaven. Influenced by Beckett, Kafka and Buster Keaton, this delightful absurdist short comedy already showcases Polanski's trademark black humor, acid sarcasm, great sense of rhythm (helped by Krzysztof Komeda's music) and very personal visual style. "Le Gros..." was obviously meant as a virulent attack on Stalinist regimes (including, of course, the Polish Communist Party) and their tactics of usurpation and exploitation for enduring in power. In this short made in France (his first work outside Poland), Polanski profits from his newfound freedom of expression to make sarcastic criticisms about the Stalinist modus operandi, and avows his fascination with Western capitalism (i.e. the sight of Paris). Coherently, after the international success of his first feature "Knife in Water" the following year, Polanski left Poland for good and conquered Europe and America, not returning to film in his native country until 40 years later with his Cannes+Oscar winner "The Pianist". "Le Gros..." is not at all dated or circumscribed to a specific country, era or political regime. Its issues will apply as long as there are despotic relationships based on power, hierarchy, servitude, usurpation and humiliation, as long as there are people exploiting other people (well, it will NEVER be dated, right?). Polanski uses the most effective tools to approach "forbidden" themes and dribble censorship: symbolism, irony and comic relief, creating this timeless little masterpiece that must rank among the greatest short films of all time.

Reviewed by Steffi_P 9 / 10 / 10

Fat and Thin

It may surprise those who know him best from Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist that several of Roman Polanski's early short features took the form of silent comedies, reminiscent of Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and Jacques Tati. The main difference to traditional silent comedies was that Polanski's were wacky and surreal, but not very funny. This is the exception. The Fat Man and the Thin Man (or The Fat and the Lean; there are several English translations) is one of a small number of Polanski's films to star Roman himself, and this implies it's a more personal work. He actually has quite a flair for this, and with his skinny, gangly body and innocent face could probably have made a career in slapstick had he wanted to. Of all his shorts this is also the most open attack on the Polish regime, in particular the way Polanski felt at that point after being censored and generally messed around by both his film school and the state due to his seemingly subversive student films. Here Polanski is literally playing and performing to somebody else's tune, humiliating himself in the process. Add in to the mix that this film is also about wanting to escape, and you have a fairly clear idea of what Polanski was trying to say here. And The Fat Man and the Thin Man is genuinely funny too. We see Polanski performing various degrading tasks for his master, and then on the second day attempting them all whilst chained to a goat (yes, it is still fairly bizarre) and, on the third day, doing them all in a joyful, exaggerated manner now that he has been unchained again. Alongside When Angels Fall (which it could hardly be more unlike), this is easily the most entertaining of Polanski's shorts.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 9 / 10 / 10

Polanski Stars In Front Of The Camera This Time

This was an incredible short film by Roman Polanski, my favorite of the ones he made prior to his first feature film, "Knife In The Water." I don't mean that the film is incredibly good, just incredible to watch.....one of the oddest films I've ever seen and, I think, Polanski's best comedy, by far. He liked making comedies before he got into his dramatic feature films. The filmmaker Roman Polanski, also is the co-star in this two-man movie. He's the lean, almost a slave to "the fat" (Andre Katelbach), an uncouth slob who plays his master. Poor Roman; he has to constantly entertain and wait on his boss/master. I can't remember all the things the poor "lean man" has to do for him but some of them are: dance, beat a drum, wash his feet, hold a pot to pee in; cook meals, shave him, tend to a goat, etc. Actually, it gets a little sadistic regarding the goat as the cruel master chains his slave to the goat. The poor now has to entertain while the poor animal is attached to him! Several times the slave tries to escape, but always in vain. It's cruel, and yet the slapstick and silent film-type comedy makes it work. If you like old Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin films, you'd probably get a kick of out this curiosity piece.

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