Reznik, a machinist, has lost the ability to sleep. But this is no ordinary
insomnia. Trevor has not slept in a year. Fatigue has led to a shocking
deterioration of his physical and mental health. Suspicious of his appearance,
Trevor’s co-workers first shy away from him, then turn against him
after he’s involved in a shop accident that costs a man his arm. They
blame Trevor for the accident. He has become a liability to himself and
others, and now they want him out.
Plagued with guilt, Trevor’s shame becomes suspicion, then paranoia,
when it appears his workmates are conspiring to have him fired –-
or worse. First he finds cryptic notes left in his apartment. Next he’s
told that a mysterious co-worker involved in the accident doesn’t
exist. Are these mysteries part of a plot to drive Trevor mad? Or is it
fatigue that’s robbing him of his reason?
Determined to find an answer, Trevor investigates the strange occurrences
that are turning his world into a sleepless nightmare. Yet the more he learns,
the less he wants to know.
movie opens with a frail, skeleton-like Christian Bale stirring in the background.
It's vastly shocking to see a recent bulk-up Bale in "Batman Begins"
as compared to "The Machinist". Whether this is a sacrificial
for arts performance or for the sake of attention seeking, undeniable Bale
is a capable performer.
To Trevor Reznik (Bale), everyday is deja vu. He can't sleep, doesn't
mix with his colleagues, his only confidant is a prostitute and he has a
crush on an airport waitress serving the graveyard shift. Things start to
turn for the worse when a mysterious, replacement colleague named Ivan appeared
at his workplace.
It's a pretty straight-forward story in fact. But director Brad Anderson
and the screenwriter cleverly infuses so much atmosphere and the amazing
performance of Bale and his co-stars that you wish the whole setup wasn't
simply a hallucination. Secretly, you might even be rooting for Trevor to
unravel a deeper mystery.
"The Machinist" can be considered a psychologically complex study
on human behaviour. Through Trevor's slow, heart-wrenching journey, the
audience gets to see the circumstances surrounding and leading to his self-termination.
Bits and pieces of clues are scattered all over, fortunately the ending
was neat enough to piece up the story. It's a torment for Trevor Reznik
to discover the truth. The audience on the other hand will be marvelled
by the intensity of the character and again, Bale's excellent portrayal.
A can of tuna and an apple for 4 months is enough to shrivel Bale's weight
but the weight he carrys in this movie is incalculable.
local disc is somewhat different from it's Region One counterpart. The movie
deleted scenes and director's commentary track is surprisingly missing here.
"The Making Of" is a approximately 20 minutes behind the scenes
featurette. Nothing really interesting here, just an in-depth look at how
certain shots are achieved and established. Next, we have a 30 minutes "Interviews"
feature which discusses interestingly how difficult it was to get the project
funded (it was finally funded by a Spain production company and filmed there
too, and some road signs have to be changed to fit the story which took
place in the States) and how director Brad Anderson hurt his leg and back
during the filmmaking process. Lastly, there's a segment called "Clips",
now it's a puzzle why this is included. It's just a summarisation of the
entire movie. Avoid this if you do not want any spoilers. The usual trailer
is also included.
Machinist" is presented in both Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1. There isn't
much scenes that make good use of the surround system. Most notably, only
scenes in the factory and the haunted house has a good ambient surround
feel to it. Dialogues are almost crystal clear.
gritty colours are painted throughout "The Machinist", which clearly
speaks of the underlying ominous tone. Some grainy freckles are spotted.
But overall, the cinematographer has captured the essence of the movie and
the transfer pretty much already did justice to it.
DVD RATING: B-
Review by Linus.T.