Rating (3 out of 5)
I just turned on this movie not knowing what it was about except the brief blurb on Netflix. The movie is a bit dark. Christian Bale’s character hasn’t slept in a year, and based on the pictures, hasn’t eaten much as well.
Christian’s character, Trevor, has a regular appointment with a hooker (Jennifer Jason Leigh), has pie and coffee regularly at the airport lounge, and he smokes. He also leaves post-its for himself, buy bleach, sort of notes.
There are indications that Trevor has hallucinations. For example, when a co-worker loses an arm, after Bale leans against the GO button, he says he saw a new welder. This guy doesn’t exist. A post it turns up on his fridge, a game of hangman, and he didn’t write it.
He goes on a date with counter woman and her little boy to the amusement park. Bale has a mild case of deja vu while taking a picture of them. Him and the boy go in the Fun House, and there are graphic images, that sends the boy into a seizure.
He then starts accusing everyone of secretly plotting against him. The hooker has a picture on her beside, and he sees the welder again. He questions her, and she says it is Trevor. By now you have figured out the welder is a figment of his imagination, and you really don’t know what you are being shown is real or his imagination.
He goes through some final steps to prove the welder is real, and then finally, he goes to the airport counter, and the woman he usually sees isn’t there. But the woman who is there knows Trevor and says she has been serving him all this time.
This all leads up to the big finale. Here is the big SPOILER, a year ago he had run over a kid, and drove away. The woman he went on a date with, is the mother of the child he killed. The movie ends when Trevor turns himself in and goes to sleep.
In the end this was Tell Tale Heart meets Fight Club. Fight Club has a much better pace and is more entertaining. This was darker and a lot slower.
Christian Bale is a great actor, but I find him to be a bit intense, and not personable so it makes me hard to empathize for his character. That again may be the slight difference between Fight Club and Machinist.
A decent film, but only watch if you have watched everything else in your queue.