Thursday, October 20, 2005

El Maquinista

The Machinist is a densely atmospheric Spanish production starring Christian Bale in dramatically condensed form as the paranoid Trevor Reznik; a role in which he skirts the edges of both horror and comedy.

Ultimately V and I differed substantially about how unsubtly it went about its subtleties. For my part, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. It was well filmed, well scored and evenly suspenseful. V found the knot of the mystery rather too easy to unravel ahead of the plotline, but I considered the intellectual engagement welcome after recent disappointments like Creep.

My one criticism would be that it wears its influences a little too brazenly. If you have vivid memories of either Memento or Spider for instance, they may prove distracting here.

Living off an apple and a can of tuna per day, Bale shed 63 pounds for the role (a method acting record) and ended up weighing just 120 pounds.