Reviews: The Machinist

Hauntingly beautiful

My interest in this film was mainly due to being a fan of Christian Bale; for years I just knew it as that one film Bale was in before Begins. Having only just now seen it, it is obvious that I was missing out.

Without going into too much detail, the film is a beautiful, powerful story of obsession, paranoia, and guilt.

The tour de force is obviously Christian Bale, in the role of the emaciated imsoniac Trevor Reznik. Simply put, he committed to this role in a way that I have seen few people commit to anything; in this film, he is more like a ghost than a person, so pathetic and weak that you wonder how he hasn't just turned into dust and wasted away. This, combined with his increasing madness and despair, makes this one of the most frightening performances I have ever seen.

The other actors are all very competent in their roles as well, but the other really strong part of this movie is the way it effectively uses symbolism and foreshadowing to bring its themes together; it does so in an organic, elegant way that makes you appreciative of the film in retrospect.

This is a dark film, to be sure. It is moody, low-key, and deals with very adult themes. If that does not dissuade you, you'll be treated to a well-crafted film with excellent performances and a powerful ending.