Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Machinist - 2004 - Dir. Anderson

It's funny to have watched this and Shutter Island so close together because each film plays with our protagonist's sanity as the film goes on. My problem with The Machinist is that I feel like we come to the conclusion that our protagonist is nuts long before the film is willing to admit such a thing. I never bought that Reznik was the victim of a conspiracy. He's a nobody, who is obviously unhinged. So the film becomes more about how much damage is this guy going to do, how much has already been done, and how crazy is he going to get? The problem with this is that Trevor spends most of the movie alone. So the movie is watching Christian Bale lose his mind. Bale is a fine actor. He can be pretty muted/distant/cold at times, and this is not an exception. Sometimes it works, but it also makes it a little hard to feel for him. The strongest aspect of the film are the repeating motifs, sequences, images. In fact, they work REALLY well. When everything comes together, it's pretty satisfying. It does have an ending that redeems all the BS you go through from the start and the movie is good with Red Herrings, perhaps because our attention is drawn in several directions at once. And I just wanna throw it out there, John Sharian is awful! So, an engaging enough distraction with some storytelling issues, but satisfying nonetheless.

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