The Machinist

HOW DO YOU WAKE UP FROM A NIGHTMARE WHEN YOU’RE NOT ASLEEP?

Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) hasn’t slept for almost a year when suddenly strange things begin to happen, including the appearance of a co-worker who only seems to exist in his mind. At first look, this thriller may not seem like much since the story takes a long time to surprise us. But when everything falls into place, the movie turns out to be a gripping and sad therapy session that deals with guilt and mental issues. Writer Scott Kosar has structured it very well and director Brad Anderson lets the surroundings and the Herrmann-esque music score reflect Trevor’s bleak mind in an effective way. Excellent performance by an absurdly emaciated Bale.

2004-Spain. 102 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Julio Fernández. Directed by Brad Anderson. Screenplay: Scott Kosar. Music: Roque Baños. Cast: Christian Bale (Trevor Reznik), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Stevie), Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian, Michael Ironside.

Trivia: Spanish title: El maquinista. Bale lost 63 pounds for the part.

Last word: “We didn’t treat Trevor’s problem like a gimmick. Sure our movie reveals something important at the end; the story is about recovering a memory, but it’s also about guilt and the way that guilt can eat you alive. We telegraph that pretty clearly from the very first scene, and I think the movie hinges on watching Trevor go through this emotional torment.” (Anderson, Screen Anarchy)

 

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