The Machinist

The Machinist, AKA El Maquinista, was a Spanish-made film with the leading role played by an Englishman--Christian Bale. It was an excellent movie if you like to watch psychos run around onscreen.

Yes. This is a screenshot from the film. Christian Bale really got way into his character. He calls himself

This is one of the main characters, Ivan. Did I mention that he DOESN'T EXIST?

I can't believe they're the same person.

Just The Facts

  1. This was a mix of Trevor Reznik's imagination and his skewed perception of paranoid reality--so not much of it was real at all.
  2. From the very beginning, it is clear that at least some of the characters are Trevor's fabrication. However, at other times, it is very difficult to tell that this is the case.
  3. This movie is overly dramatic and uncomprehendable for the first hour. If you're into mystery, suspense, psychological thrillers--this is for you. If you're like me and consider Terminator a thriller...then don't watch it.

The Machinist's Critique

Trevor Reznik, who hasn't slept in over a year, works in a factory, but because he's so tired all the time, begins to make mistakes. Grave mistakes. Trevor finds solace in two places: first, his girlfriend, who can't really be considered his girlfriend (she's a hooker); second, the diner he goes to every night after work, and the waitress that he chats with over there (she doesn't exist). In the parking lot, while smoking, he meets Ivan, who he has never seen before. Apparently, no one else has seen him either. When Trevor goes back inside, he sees Ivan across the room, which distracts him and causes a fellow worker's left arm to be chopped off by the machine. When Trevor blames Ivan for the accident, everyone asks him who Ivan is--there is no Ivan working at the factory. Mother's Day rolls around, and Trevor's waitress at the diner invites him to spend a day at the amusement park with her and her son. He agrees, and at the park, the son has an epileptic fit; Trevor feels himself to be responsible. The movie continues this way, with a strange game of hangman that he plays with himself on a fridge that happens to be leaking blood (even though he never thinks to OPEN THE FRIDGE AND FIGURE OUT WHAT'S INSIDE), and visits to his pseudo-girlfriend. All while trying to prove that he's not a lunatic.

Which makes him a lunatic in itself. He gets fired for being paranoid and beating up fellow factory workers. He files a fake hit-and-run report after deliberately running into a car. And that's not even all!

To conclude, this movie is insane. The dark double character that the narrator thinks is real--I think that was stolen from Fight Club (which was a BRILLIANT movie), but the tactic falls somewhat flat here. The conclusion is unsatisfying, and not even all the questions are answered.

Don't get me wrong--there were good parts to this movie, too. For example, the actors did a fantastic job slipping into their characters, and I think the storyline even had a lot of potential. Many, many people think the director did an excellent job--I just think that it could have been done differently, in a way that would be a bit easier to comprehend. To me, it seemed like an hour and a half of confusion, then about ten minutes of problem solving that didn't actually solve problems.

I recommend this movie to those who like watching psychotic maniacs with identity crises.

My overall score: C. And that's only because most of the Cracked writers claim to have "Texas-sized man-crushes" on the man that other Cracked writers simply call "The Bale" because he's too frightening to be called anything else.