Monday, March 28, 2011

The Machinist [2004]

Director: Brad Anderson
Cast: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Mystery
Rating: Teen (brief sexuality, disturbing images)
Comment: "A bleak psychological thriller that keeps you guessing, that makes it good..."

A machinist, Trevor Reznik is suffering from chronic insomnia and it's beginning to take a toll on his life. After a year-long of struggle, strange things begin to happen around him, and the line separating reality and insanity is now a blur.

What to Expect
1. A bleak atmosphere
2. A very artistic presentation
3. Christian Bale's trademark of immersing himself into his role

What NOT to Expect
1. To be too fast-paced

Pretty much best known for being that "skeletal Christian Bale movie", however that might prove to be a bit short-sighted because this movie is more than just about his physical transformation. While it is notable that it did indeed brought a huge amount of realism to the movie, the story is no less intriguing. I'm not saying it is something to shout about, but as far as psychological thriller goes, this movie had just become the latest addition to one of my favourites.

For me, the huge appeal that glued me to the screen was how artistic it was. Being a huge fan of literature, I couldn't help but spot all the motifs and allusions that, while pretty obvious at times, also did a terrific job of keeping you at arm's length from putting things together entirely.

However that is not to say that this is not something casual viewers wouldn't be able to appreciate. So long as you're not looking for something catered mostly for the MTV-audience. You will see Trevor walking around almost aimlessly, experiencing these life-changing events without knowing where they came from, or where they are taking him.

In some ways, you might even say that it could potentially invoke the audience to participate in solving the mystery surrounding the character; A story that is almost voyeuristic, just like how Alfred Hitchcock used to do it.

Should you see it? Hell yeah, if you get the chance. In retrospect you might not find it to be too impressive, and I will not state why because any details on the matter would mean that I am giving away a chunk of the theme. Let's just say that if you are a fan of any of the movies I listed here, you might want to give it a chance. I daresay you might even be inclined to love it!


Anonymous said...

First time commenting. Discovered this blog few days back. Impressed.

I watched this couple months back, just because of the "skeleton Bale" thing. And yeah, very very good film if you immerse yourself, you know what i mean. I particularly like the ending. And the "debate" surrounding the interpretation of the entire event in movie based on the ending.

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Hey thanks very much!
You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

And yeah, that's what intrigued me the most. I totally didn't anticipate the movie to turn out the way it did. I half-expected it to be bland.

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