Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Movie Review (The Machinist)...

The Machinist

Writer Scott Kosar had the unenviable task of scripting the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 2003, but when that did big business stateside, he was immediately tapped to pen the script for another upcoming horror remake, The Amityville Horror. Between those two jobs however, Kosar teamed up with director Brad Anderson to deliver his most accomplished work to date. The Machinist is the story of Trevor Reznik, an insomniac lathe-operator whose physical and mental health is steadily declining. Exhausted and fatigued, Reznik claims to have not slept in a year, shuffling through life one day at a time, desperate for some rest. Strange occurrences begin to plague his daily life, what with the appearance of creepy Ivan, and seemingly inexplicable post-it notes appearing in his apartment.

Christian Bale presents an outstanding portrayal of the emaciated, sickly Reznik. His dedication to the character was compounded by his sixty three pound weight loss, a record for any actor for a movie role. It works shockingly well as both the physical representation of a tortured soul, and metaphorically as a man who is wasting away, consumed by some untold fear or guilt. On supporting duties are Jennifer Jason Leigh, as Reznik’s hooker girlfriend, and the always value-for-money Michael Ironside as his co-worker, Miller.

Structurally, ‘The Machinist’ is most obviously influenced by the time twisting ’21 Grams’ or perhaps ‘Memento’ but the look and feel of the movie is reminiscent of David Fincher’s work. Bale’s revelatory central performance, some genuinely creepy imagery, and a smartly written (if not very original) script make ‘The Machinist’ highly recommended viewing.

4 out of 5