The Machinist (2004)

Posted: May 21, 2011 in Hollywood
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The Machinist


Trevor Reznik is a lathe-operator who suffers from insomnia and hasn’t slept in a year. Slowly, he begins to doubt his sanity as increasingly bizarre things start happening at work and at home. Haunted by a deformed co-worker who no one seems to think exists, and an ongoing stream of indecipherable Post-It notes he keeps finding on his fridge, he attempts to investigate what appears to be a mysterious plot against him and, in the process, embroils two women in his madness. –IMDb


Brad Anderson


Scott Kosar


Christian BaleJennifer Jason Leigh and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón


 Drama | Mystery | Thriller


 How do you wake up from a nightmare, when you’re not asleep?

The Machinist is a psychological thriller directed by Brad Anderson, based on a script by Scott Kosar, and produced and shot in Spain after most American production companies rejected the project as weird. The Machinist plays out like something David Lynch or Stanley Kubrick might have made, but most of the strength comes from Bale’s performance. It should be noted that Bale lost 60 pounds in preparation for this role, and the result is disturbing to look at. We see this man reduced to a mere skeleton, not just in body, but in mind. The whole film has shades of dark and is reminiscent of something, which we discover towards the end when the mystery unravels. Simply put, the film shows what can happen if one tries to hide something from self long enough.

Christian Bale is unbelievable as the insomniac paranoiac steal worker Trevor Reznik, and one wonders why he wasn’t nominated to the Oscars that year. The fact that he bothered to get so thin, a walking skeleton really, shows how committed (or crazy) he is about acting. The viewer has to be thankful, though, as his decayed physique helps his character and the movie immensely. Bale just doesn’t act, he psychologically splits himself to become Reznik. And anything he does in this movie is believable, raw and authentic.

Still of Cristian Bale in The Machinist

Bale’s counterpart Ivan is played by John Sharian, who is cheekily disturbing in his performance. You hate him immediately, physically, the way the moves, the way he dresses, the way he smiles, still, there is something appealing and warm about him. I think his performance and his physique add even more interest to the theme of Raznik’s quest for identity. Aitana Sanchez Gijon and Jennifer Jason Leigh are good as Marie and Stevie, respectively. The rest of the cast are all believable in their respective supporting roles.

This is a terrific movie, with a great atmosphere, a thought-provoking script, and a brilliant performance by Christian Bale. The Machinist is one of those multi-layered stories and movies from which you get new details each time you see it. The stylish cinematography and washed out colors are very effective in adding to this nightmarish atmosphere. The art direction and special effects are brilliant. Even though it starts off a little slow, the gradual building of tension is very well done and the mystery is properly revealed in the end.

I love films that make you think, and this one certainly does that. Yes, at times it does get a little ponderous, but I can forgive that because it does all tie up in the end.

So, over all, a well made, dark mystery thriller with a great score and a brilliant performance from Christian Bale… His appearance shows the guy’s tremendous determination towards acting and everyone must appreciate that. I rate the movie 7.5 out of 10.

Watch the trailer…

  1. Nice movie, I watched it long time back and I liked it….

  2. HIsido says:


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