The Machinist [DVD] 
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Brooding psychological thriller, starring Christian Bale. Trevor Reznik (Bale) is a factory machine-operator who is suffering from crippling insomnia. His weight has plummeted, he suffers from hallucinations, and he finds himself unable to concentrate at work, leading to a horrific accident involving one of his co-workers. Ostracised from the other men at the factory, Reznik starts finding threatening notes and begins to fear that someone is trying to kill him. Is his paranoia part of his psychological breakdown, or is it possibly justified?
As a bleak and chilling mood piece, The Machinist gets under your skin and stays there. Christian Bale threw himself into the title role with such devotion that he shed an alarming 63 pounds to play Trevor Reznik (talk about "starving artist"!), a factory worker who hasn't slept in a year. He's haunted by some mysterious occurrence that turned him into a paranoid husk, sleepwalking a fine line between harsh reality and nightmare fantasy--a state of mind that leaves him looking disturbingly gaunt and skeletal in appearance. (It's no exaggeration to say that Bale resembles a Holocaust survivor from vintage Nazi-camp liberation newsreels.) In a cinematic territory far removed from his 1998 romantic comedy Next Stop Wonderland, director Brad Anderson orchestrates a grimy, nocturnal world of washed-out blues and grays, as Trevor struggles to assemble the clues of his psychological conundrum. With a friendly hooker (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and airport waitress (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón) as his only stable links to sanity, Trevor reaches critical mass and seems ready to implode just as The Machinist reveals its secrets. For those who don't mind a trip to hell with a theremin-laced soundtrack, The Machinist seems primed for long-term status as a cult thriller on the edge. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.comSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Trent is - you guessed it - a machinist. It doesn't look like a great job, but he obviously makes a killing, as he leaves $20 tips every night at the diner and enjoys many an evening with a call girl who sort of becomes his girlfriend. Jennifer Jason Leigh is about the only pretty thing you'll see in the 102 minutes of the film. We first meet Trevor when he's approaching his breaking point. The job of machinist can be quite hazardous, especially if you work with Trevor.Read more ›
The central character acts brilliantly through the torment and confusion. Searching out the truth following some strange events and encounters, he finds some buried information painful to discover.
Without revealing too much about the plot, it's a good story. Not so odd it's never been done before, but with some originality. The confusion is built up well, and the truth is revealed for those of us who don't latch on. When that happens, everything gets tied up neatly and you re-evaluate everything you saw, 'sixth-sense' style.
Good entertainment, and something for your mind to do. Reccomended.
But this is not a negative observation: The Machinist doesn't really ask you to follow a story, instead it involves you in the head-state of Resnik who, thanks to Christian Bale's extreme diet, looks very ill indeed. This is largely due to the fact that Resnik hasn't slept for a year, although I do wonder if this is biologically possible. Needless to say, he's not getting a clear perspective on things and his life seems to be in meltdown.
The depiction of mental states has seen few worthy appearances in film. Perhaps one mistake has been to attempt to realise it though use of effects: distortions, extreme camera techniques and so forth. While these may conjour up a sense of disorientation, fear and alienation, they generally fail to offer any real empathy with the character in question. The Machinist avoids these devices. Through the use of desaturated colours which range from sombre to downright sinister, along with a series of coincidences, repetitions and motifs which are often quite casual but ominous in their appearance, the film subtly allows us to sense the state of Resniks mind. The joins between what may and what may not be fantasy are seemless and this stirs up a greater sense of alienation and unease.
Many films of this type are let down by a poor resolution but the Machinist wraps things up neatly and doesn't leave you with the feeling that you've been undersold.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't have the ambition to become a film critic. We're here to review a product, in this case a DVD with the film 'The machinist' on it. Read morePublished 13 days ago by K. Van den Broeck
Noir classic. Totally out on its own, this one, Incredibly committed performance from Christian Bale; great work by Jennifer Jason Leigh; scintillating music throughout; very... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
An unsettling watch. Certainly captures the feeling of a person holding onto his sanity. Perhaps trying a bit too hard, however.Published 2 months ago by David Martin Jeffreys
Really good film. Seriously creepy and tense. Great ending too! Would definitely recommend.Published 2 months ago by Rowan Mankiewitz
Seen it a few times.. fascinating how Christian vale out his body through so much!!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer