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The Machinist  
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Christian Bale, Brad Anderson, Jennifer Jason Leigh "Fight Club Meets Memento" - Loaded "Christian Bale is awesome!" - Heat Trevor Reznik (CHRISTIAN BALE - Batman Begins) has not slept for a year. Ravaged by fatigue, his body is little more than a bag of bones. Wracked by exhaustion, his weary mind increasingly plays tricks on him. Then, one fateful day at the machine shop where he works, he's involved in an accident and a fellow worker loses an arm. Reznik's guilt turns to paranoia when he discovers cryptic notes in his apartment and a ghostly apparition haunts his every move. Is it someone out to exact revenge for the gruesome accident? In a desperate attempt to save his sanity, Reznik must uncover the truth...but the more he learns, the more terrifying his sleepless nightmare becomes. "Gripping...The Machinist is set to be a cult classic" - Sunday Times Culture
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Jennifer Jason Leigh was fantastic in this too! I recommend this to film lovers and cannot understand some of the poor ratings. If you liked fight club, watch this!!
Christian Bale, who lost 63Ibs to play the part, is Trevor Reznik, the machinist in the title. He's the worker who cannot sleep, whose life is a daze, the man slowly tortured by his own living dream. Why is he so emaciated? Why cannot he sleep? Why is he plagued by sinister tricks of the mind? So many questions; what are the answers? I'm not going to spoil it by giving them here, but suffice to say that his colleague Ivan is not all that he seems. (Bale appears in every scene and his commitment to the film is clear. How he failed to be nominated for his role is beyond me.)
The movie opens at its ending (so keep your eyes well-peeled). A languid pace is prevalent from the start. In his commentary, director Brad Anderson admits to Hitchcock being a direct influence in the making of this clever film - "the last Hitchcock movie never made". The colours are often dark, almost black/white in places with many of the colours leached out; much of it was shot at night. Sinister and curious tropes appear, such as the game of hangman, photographs from a past that was not lived, memory problems, paranoia, nosy old landladies, and cars coloured red. Just what is real and what is not? (The very useful director's commentary will point out clues that you may have missed.)
The Hitchcockian feel extends to the score, written by a Spanish composer but in the style of Bernard Herrmann. There are repetitive harp figurations and deep long breathing in the strings; even the sound of the theremin is resurrected. Anderson says that the film is "a parable about guilt". It's not a horror movie; rather it is a dark drama a la Kafka. Indeed, the screenwriter was inspired by Kafka and Dostoyevsky, and there are references to the latter in the film: Reznik is reading "Crime and Punishment" (nudge, nudge: clue!).
Because Brad Anderson had difficulties raising money in the States for his movie, it was shot in Barcelona and Andorra. But you'd never guess! This was such a surprise to me when it was explained by the director in his commentary. This explains the presence of the Spanish composer, the Spanish DoP, the French production designer, and so on. The team has performed marvels in translating the production into a convincing American milieu from a European base.
As well as the director's commentary, the extras also include a 25-minute interview with Brad Anderson, a 25-minute "making of" (with interviews with the actors and some of the production team), and some deleted scenes.
Bale plays a man crippled with guilt induced insomnia and paranoia and gives one of the best acting performances of his career.
His dedication to his craft - losing 60lbs+ to 'get inside' this character - is both spectacular and awe inspiring. Don't want to give too much away for fear of spoiling it for those who haven't seen it - but the lengths he goes to at the end to get some sleep - and by doing so explaining the reason for his insomnia - is a great twist.
I you like brooding psychological thrillers you have to get your hands on this one! Superb.
You really do have to think about this film & try to fit the pieces together but it all comes together in the end & the story line is superb, despite all his flaws & issues throughout the film & the reason for his insanity & insomnia you do actually really feel for the protagonist Trevor Reznik(Bale)
The ending completely shocked me & it is very impressive, I thoroughly enjoyed this film