Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Minireview - The Machinist ****

A fine thriller that effectively crosses the state of mind of Fight Club with the building paranoia of Arlington Road. Made in Spain (presumably because no Hollywood studio would touch it) and released under the frankly bizarre "Paramount Classics" label, the film succeeds due to a fantastic performance from Christian Bale, not to mention an unprecedented dedication to his craft (manifest in his character's emaciated appearance, achieved by Bale losing 60lbs of weight before shooting). As a paranoid, obsessive-compulsive insomniac, Bale manages to be tortured yet sympathetic, spooky and sleazy yet occasionally caring and loving. And, unlike either of the films cited earlier, the reason for his state of mind is gradually revealed and proves to be a worthy and horrific conclusion to the film.

Highly recommended for fans of psychological thrillers in the Hitchcock mold.

No comments: