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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Machinist

http://www.beyondhollywood.com/uploads/2008/06/the-machinist-dvd.jpg
Christian Bale is Trevor Reznik, a machinist in an anonymous factory somewhere in America. He is obviously scarred by some past incident but what is it? He finds mysterious notes on his refrigerator, saying 'who are you?' He sees colleagues that don't exist. He seems to have lost it completely.

A Spanish production, but with Brad Anderson at the helm as director and an almost exclusively American cast, this is basically an American film. I must admit, I kept shelving this one, due to reasons I cannot really recall now I've finally watched it, but it probably had something to do with Christian Bale's insane weight loss and all the surrounding publicity. I assumed the film was all about Bale's loss of weight and not much more. A method boy in a film solely hyped for an actor's dedication to play the part, but the film blew me away, as simple as that. Christian Bale gives a solo turn here almost unseen before. No matter how many pounds he lost, it's a remarkable performance.

Director Brad Anderson succeeds brilliantly in conceiving an atmosphere that is so compelling, as one other user on the IMDb stated, 'You just HAVE to know what the hell is going on here.' I think that's the key factor in what makes this film so incredibly compelling. The whole setting is an anonymous industrial town somewhere in the US, that could be Pennsylvania, Michigan or upstate New York (actually, it was shot near Barcelona), but it doesn't really matter where the story is located. It's the atmosphere of estrangement that does it. And Christian Bale gives such an intense performance you really want to know his cause and background. Where on earth does he come from? We know he works in a greasy factory, but why is he skin-over-bone? Why hasn't he slept in over a year? Brad Anderson creates an atmosphere so broody and sleazy, it's like a netherworld, an urban nightmare. In a certain way it reminded me of the strange urban landscape in "Eraserhead" by David Lynch.http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2009/364/2/8/the_machinist_1_by_rubyjune.jpg




10 comments:

  1. Wow I think I'm going to have to watch that.

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  2. Sounds awesome, I have to check this out!

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  3. I loved that movie. It reminds me of the story of a man in the Wild West who would build a house stone by stone by hand each day in the heat as a means to atone for his sins.

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  4. This looks pretty cool actually.

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  5. Why does this remind me of Memento...?

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  6. A really great movie, but I have to say that Christian Bale looks like he could be broken like a branch in this movie.

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