Apparently, actor Christian Bale dropped from his normal weight of 190 pounds to around 130 for this role. It's also reported that he actually wanted to try and drop 20 more pounds, but the filmmakers wouldn't let him because they thought it might adversely affect his health. Isn't it good to know they're looking out for him? Some people would call this "an amazing dedication to the art of acting" on Bale's part. I just call it stupid.
Bale looks like an absolute stick in this movie, which is astounding if you've ever met an actor because you instantly realize that the camera does add those ten pounds. So despite whatever subject this film happens to be about, it's virtually impossible to sit there, watch Bale, and not constantly ponder what Hollywood starlet is going to claim weight-loss success on her new "Machinist" diet.
This is one of those films where it becomes clear that the main character is having some delusions, which gives the filmmakers free reign to just make some shit up. While we're not sure what exactly is wrong with Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale), we're pretty sure that director Brad Anderson is going to keep us from figuring it out until the very end. Reznik is a machine operator in a scummy factory and, as far as he remembers, he hasn't slept in over a year.
As somebody who gets pissy and delusional if he misses his afternoon nap, I was just a bit skeptical of Reznik's claims. First, he starts conversing with a guy named Ivan (John Sharian), who nobody else seems to see. Then he causes an accident that leads to a fellow worker (Michael Ironside) losing his arm. He also has peculiar relationships with a hooker (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and a waitress (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon). Naturally, as in any movie where the main goal is to confuse the hell out of the audience, these events and relationships are all clues that only make sense at the end when we finally learn what's really causing Trevor's problems.
Here's the answer: He's in a perpetual loop where he experiences one crappy thing after another. Hey, Trevor, join the club.
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