The Machinist is a criminally overlooked film. Which is unfortunate as it is a meditation on the destructive power of guilt and a very well done film. It is dark and atmospheric which may have put many people off.
Christian Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a machinist who hasn’t slept in over a year. His only “friends” are a prostitute (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and a single mother who works as a waitress at the diner the Reznik frequents at night after his shift at the machine shop. He has lost a lot of weight, in fact both the prostitute and the waitress tell him that if he gets any thinner, he wouldn’t exist. He starts to hallucinate and begins to see people who may or may not be real.
I’ve watched this film several times. The first time, I didn’t figure out what was going on until the end, when the film reveals Trevor’s dark secret. Each subsequent view reveals more details overlooked on previous viewings.
Christian Bale lost one third of his body weight to play this role and the results are very disturbing: he looks like a flesh-covered skeleton. In places, this film is very hard to watch. One scene in particular with Jennifer Jason Leigh is particularly heartbreaking as Bale’s character descends into madness and takes out his anger on her.
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Worth a look if you like creepy, atmospheric films or are a fan of Christian Bale.
Skip it if you are easily disturbed.
MDE’s Self-Appointed Movie Critic