Movie Review: Machinist, The

This evening I watched ‘The Machinist‘ on DVD. This is my [Interpretation] as I said I would. All words in brackets are moments from the movie that stuck in my mind. I wrote these down as the movie progressed thinking they would mean something later. They did.

City of 486.008

The machinist starts all-morose and sullen with an amazing collection of screen views that are somewhat macabre yet would make fascinating photographs.

[Flash light]

At first glance, it appears to be a series of brilliant black-and-white photographs strung together to form a story. But it becomes apparent that they form the basis for the rest of the movie. And is also the style of the amazing director, producer and cinematographer.

It takes about eight minutes for any real dialogue to be heard. The eerie music (that sounds like a mix of The Twilight Zone and Mars Attacks) makes us squirm in our seat, wondering what will come of it all.

At that point, I become more observant of the slowly developing storyline, though very confusing and hard to pinpoint.

The main character, Trevor Reznik, holds our attention with his malformed and undernourished body. He is someone we could relate to, but not sure why or if.

[Sleep deprivation]

[The idiot]

[Post-It Notes]



From a photographers point-of-view, this movie is loaded with interesting perspectives, vanishing-points plus amazing surreal and stormy sky’s.

[Arm loss.]

[Post-It Notes]

[Hang man]

[Smoking whilst driving]

[A little guilt goes a long way]

[That other car: Red]

(Matrix: Lady in the Red Dress)


[The Idiot]


[… … … … E R]

Although the story is most interesting, it certainly drags at a slow speed that would drive a man to oblivion. REZNIK appears to jump between characters for a while until I realize there are multiple women in his life.

[Airport cafeteria]

[Lady of the night]

The storyline twists and turns, taking us on a weird journey of despair and intrigue. The path seems to jump from one junction to the next, not knowing which is the correct way. Somehow it takes us on a morbid journey.

[Drill. OFF … ON. Twist, Turn, Rip, Tear, Shred. Harmless. ‘Armless.]

The music pulls us through like a ball of twine through a series of heavy cogs, like blood veins entwined down an arm.


[Miserable life]

[Blood from fridge]

Oh. J e s u s.

The reason I’ve some time to write a few lines is because of some scenes that involve a lot of blood-letting. Not really my cup of tea, nor my preference for movies. Thankfully I can mute and ALT-TAB away from these horrible moments … but no, I’m not fast enough. Reznik is hit by a car that he deliberately walks in front of. Somehow he survives. Weird that.

[Tunnel under train station]


(Route 666)

[Bruise vs Train Wreck]

(Turned out not to be an important point, but will keep as is.)


[Mirror of self, mirage of a man, shell of impunity]

The plot meanders around for a while here, but eventually coming back on track. Reznik kills his other self, his connection with the next world. He relives the horror of the moment he killed a young child whilst lighting his cigarette. Sonova. Turns out smoking really does kill children.

[Fridge of fish, bleeding through the floor]

[Coming to an end. Driving to the airport or the city?]

[Full circle.]

[De’ ja’ vu. Living little moments, reliving, remembering.]


[Where, when, why, what … how much sanity have you got?]

[Catching up with one’s inner self.]

[Making choices, choosing to surrender, surrendering to your fate, being all that you can be and all that you’ll ever be]

[Going insane, staying, becoming, driven]

This movie is scary, strange, sad and all together morose. Yes, it has a story line. No, I didn’t like it. I almost stopped the movie three times .. yet some how I was grabbed back in. Don’t ask. Even I don’t know.

Interpretation? That’s it, you just read it, all over.

Moral, if any? Fate is what you make it. Ask Sarah Conner about that.

Like it, loathe it, love it? Leave a message.

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