T Nation

Movie Review; The Machinist


#1

The Machinist (2004), starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh.

This is a story of a blue collar worker, haunted by something, although we are not quite sure what.

Christian Bale plays the lead in this movie, a man who is being chased by inner demons. He hasn't slept for a year. He eats, but he is rapidly losing weight. He seems caught up in a web being spun around him, tangled in conspiracy, paranoia and lies. As the movie progresses, we follow the threads and learn the roots of his problems.

This is a movie, not full of action, but full of intrigue. It is well put together, a good script, excellent direction and fantastic acting.

Perhaps the greatest aspect of this movie is Bale's performance. To play this role, he literally starved himself. He looks like a Holocaust survivor and weighed 120lbs for filming. Although us at T-Nation cannot encourage a body like that, we must admire the discipline required to make that transformation. (What is even more impressive is to see him @ a year later as a buffed Batman).

This movie has similarities to both Fight Club and Momento (both on my must see list). Although the plot of each is very different, all center on a man trapped within his own mind, trying to figure out just what is going on. If you enjoyed those movies, you will like this one as well.


#2

one of the best movies.

Bale was also very pissed off during the filming due to not eating. because of this his acting was quite different than in all other movies ive seen of his.


#3

Further, how many actors would actually starve themselves like that for a role? Stephen King's Thinner (the movie) relied on prosthetics and cheap make up...and that was only about getting thinner (It sucked). I was impressed by his dedication to a role more than anything.


#4

Pretty much everything Stephen King did before The Green Mile was low budget with really crappy makeup and Special FX.


#5

I don't know whether to blame him for it or the directors. His writing style is amazing. I just don't get why it took until Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile before they actually did his stories right. Hollywood can truly fuck up a book.

Maybe J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of The Rings was a fluke in that aspect.


#6

Stand by Me?

Shawshank Redemption?


#7

It was a great movie. Low-budget, relying on the story-line and the actors to keep it going. The photography is really bleak, and adds to the angst of the movie.

I read an interview with Christian Bale where he said he only ate an apple and a can of tuna a day for quite a few weeks in order to lose the amount of weight he needed to (30lbs or something silly like that).


#8

It was more than just 30lbs. He weighed about 130lbs or less in that movie. He weighed over 180lbs for that "flashback scene" at the end.


#9

I forgot about Stand by Me. That movie is probably my favorite from growing up...right in front of Goonies.