Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) works in a factory as a machinist and is also an insomniac who hasn’t slept in a year, whose body is withering away. He has a compulsion to write reminders on sticky notes as well as his weight straight after he’s measured it each night. The only person he lets into his life on an emotional level is Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a prostitute who he regularly hooks up with – other than that, Trevor is all alone. Trevor causes a devastating accident which costs one of his colleagues their arm, and that’s when things start to go downhill. A series of strange occurrences cause Trevor to question his sanity, and quite rightfully too – something has to have been keeping him awake this past year.
I quite enjoyed The Machinist despite watching a similar type of film a few weeks back and not being its greatest fan. There was something very clever about it that I think I probably liked because I could actually get my head around it.
The Machinist was also another fantastic display of Christian Bale’s talents as a character actor. For his role as Trevor, Bale lost over 60 pounds in weight to show his character’s tortured, emaciated condition, and gave a mind-blowing performance. Throughout the entire film, he showed a massive amount without actually giving away a lot, and so what kept you hooked was the fact you knew he had some sort of secret, but what that was, you had to wait until the end to find out. One thing was for sure however, Bale was at his captivating best and so he was never tasking to watch.
The plot line for this one was something that took a bit of figuring out, and you did have to stay completely tuned in until the very end to fully feel the benefits. Now, for people like my dad, this would be something of a turn off, and The Machinist would not have lasted more than twenty minutes had he have been watching it with me. I, myself, can be guilty of this from time to time, but Bale’s performance and the little bones the writers kept throwing me every once in a while kept my curiosity until the grand finale. Even if you haven’t the greatest level of patience, I cannot stress enough that you stick with it – once everything has been revealed you will find yourself quite impressed.
Overall, The Machinist is a highly intriguing psychological thriller that I think will grab the attention of anyone who loves a solid, gritty performance, especially from Mr Bale. I very much enjoyed the film and thought it was very cleverly done, and I would certainly recommend you see it at some point.