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The Machinist

Starring: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon Micheal Ironside and John Sharian
Directed by: Brad Anderson

 

 

Bluntly speaking? The Machinist is a beautifully haunting - chillingly stark - film that places you knee-deep within an oblique nightmarescape, desguised as a life, one very troubled man is experiencing.

Christian Bale, who lost something like seventy pounds for this leading role, simply captured this dream state-like character on the brink of madness…it is a power-house under-the-skin performance.

Story goes…Machinist Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) hasn't slept - a wink - in a year. He can barely eat, his clothes are dripping off his body and his mind may be weakening; Trev's having a tadofva bad year to say the least.

Now it seems somebody is out to get him. Trevor's new found enemy is a maniacal sort of guy that just kind of "showed up" at his job, and has started giving him the hairy-eyeball. As if that were not bad enough, someone is also sneaking into Trev's apartment leaving creepy sticky-pad messages upon the filthy fridge...

But then again, perhaps Trevor, who's a bit of an emaciated cigarette smoking coffee sluggin' wreck is just delusional, hallucinating, or worse, a paranoid. After all, no one else seems to see the notes or has ever met this coworking nemesis…

Even his hooker girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is starting to think Trevor has some mental issues…big dark circling mental issues that are slowly twisting his brain into a sleep-deprived abyss.

The performance by Christian Bale - who is normally a coveted physique of Grade A mansteak - is doubly menacing with this anything-for-the-craft Skeletor carcass he's widdled himself down to for the part of Trevor. I warn you this version of Christian is not easy to look at. But his remarkably ominous, heart-breaking, performance out weighs this dramatic physical state. He is literally breath taking.

The Machinist moves slowly like a dream you can't run in. Lethargic frames hint, uncover, and penetrate your thoughts as each of tale's players adds just a smidge more menace to that uneasy feeling your sharing with Trevor as he explores the power of the mind. It's a stylistic journey director Brad Anderson orchestrates from writer Scott Alan Kosar. Set designer Alain Banne and his crew have spun a web of radiant minimalist art in a world of solemn isolation, while Roque Banos' classic-styled Hitchcock-like soundtrack lends a down right creature-featurey chill to the macabre yarn - perfectly.

The Machinist is a wonderfully hellish psychological ride keeps you gripped to the seat - it dares you to look away - but you can't. You must know what the h-e-double hockey sticks is going on. When was the last time a film did that? Right. Enjoy.

Snack recommendation: a slab-o-cherry pie


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