Commentary

April 27, 2012

On DVD

Fly Over: ‘The Machinist’

Sleep-deprived protagonist slips further from reality as the consequences of his past begins to rise to the top of his guilty conscience

by Macario Mora
machinist-1

Christian Bale, better known for his role in the Batman trilogy, stars in Brad Anderson’s “The Machinist,” a psychological thriller set in the gloomy confines of a guilt-ridden insomniac’s psyche.

Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a machine operator who hasn’t slept in more than a year. His sleep deprivation leaves him emaciated and paranoid, slipping in and out of reality. Unfortunately, Reznik’s situation becomes more dire when he’s involved in an accident at work, leaving a coworker minus a limb.

From there, Reznik’s paranoia grows as those around him become weary of his presence and call for his resignation. However, Reznik believes the accident was new employee, Ivan’s (John Sharian) fault. That is until his employers inform Reznik Ivan doesn’t work for the company, thus the ensuing madness.

It’s at this point the film’s protagonist begins to spiral toward insanity. Reznik believes Ivan and his coworkers are out to get him, unforgiving of the horrible accident. In his effort to discover the conspiracy, Reznik seeks the comfort of the naïve though kind prostitute Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Marie (Aitana Sanchez Gijon), an airport waitress.

However, Reznik begins to suspect Stevie is in on the conspiracy when he discovers a photograph of Ivan on her nightstand, though, she informs him, he gave her the picture.

The movie has drawn some comparisons to other movies of the genre like “Memento.” However, unlike “Memento” the film’s ending is conclusive and climatic, leaving viewers nodding their heads saying, “now I understand.”

Though the story and characters were derived from Dostoevsky novels (The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov, etc.) and the band Nine Inch Nails (lead singer Trent Reznor) giving the film a more moody feel, it’s Bale’s acting that catapults the movie into the upper echelon of films released in 2004.

The usually-muscular Bale, who tipped the scales at more than 200 pounds for “Batman Begins,” lost 80 pounds for the role, slimming down to 120 pounds in a few months. Bale is both physically appalling and compelling in the film, as his sunken cheeks, visible vertebrae and hollow eyes are reminiscent of an Auschwitz survivor.

Though physically he’s frightening and repulsive, it’s Reznik’s humanity that lends sympathy to his nightmare world.

The film is a journey into the madness of a guilt-laden conscious.

It highlights the consequences of guilt and introduces us to the world of the mentally perturbed. It reminds us that no matter how far we push our life’s unwanted memories into the subconscious, they eventually wade to the forefront. Truth always rises to the top.

“The Machinist” is rated R for violence, disturbing imagery, sexuality and language.



About the Author

Macario Mora
Macario Mora
Macario Mora believes there are two types of movies, those that are intellectually stimulating and those that were made for pure entertainment value. His favorite movie is "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," directed by Michel Gondry and written by Charlie Kaufman. Gondry and Kaufman are also his favorite director and writer.


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
image001

It’s a way of life

Maj. Ronald Marquez Air Force Instruction 1-1 Paragraph 1.5 states, A way of life. “The mission must be accomplished.” Luke AFB is taking a small break from that mission, back-to-back four-day weekends for some. This means ...
 

 
600-Jesus-Nativity504

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Courtesy graphic Do we have the humility and strength to hear the truth from those beneath us? “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field … All they that heard it wondered at those things which were ...
 
 
a-million-ways-to-die-in-the-west-dvd_600

Fly Over: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ and ‘Home Alone′

On DVD: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ I love Westerns, both dramatic and comedic, and I was eager to watch this movie with the tagline “From the guy who brought you ‘Ted.’” That alone should have been ...
 
 

Gratitude cultivates exceptional leadership

Several months ago I was inspired by the phrase “cultivate an attitude of gratitude.” The topic was presented in a religious context; however, I found these words significant and profound when considered as a tenent of exceptional leadership. Cultivate is an action verb. The word brings to mind images of an experienced gardener patiently tending...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin