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.


 
 

 
Courtesy graphic

Fitness center gets Xtreme makeover

Courtesy graphic Above is an architectural rendering of the changes to the outside of the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Renovations also include a remodel of most of the interior. The project will take place over t...
 
 

People — Air Force’s greatest asset

As I reflect on almost 25 years of military service, I find it easy to remember my assignments, the multiple jobs I’ve had and duties I have performed. I have served on four continents and for four presidents. Within that same time period, our nation has been in numerous campaigns ranging from operations Desert Storm...
 
 

Character, good or bad, will be passed on

Your character is who you are when no one is watching. At the same time, your character is who you are when everyone is watching. Your character is the sum of your morals and values and the quality of your character is of the utmost importance when leading others. In addition to your own values...
 

 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

History gets paint job

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY James Bridges and Hayden Yager, civilian contractors, prepare the F-104C Starfighter static display for painting Aug. 12 in the Luke Air Force Base Airpark. The static displays in the airpark will be ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2015

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will begin an active-shooter exercise between 8 and 10 a.m. Thursday. It is expected to continue throughout the day. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruption of...
 
 
Tech. Sgt. 
BARBARA PLANTE

944th Airmen live life as military couple

Tech. Sgt.BARBARA PLANTE Staff Sgt. Adam Jenkins and Senior Airman Cassandra Jenkins, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron, are a dual-military couple and work together as maintainers in the refueling vehicle maintenance shop. St...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>