The Machinist (2004)

(On DVD, August 2005) Another entry in the overly-clever sub-genre of “everything you know about this story is wrong” movies, this film is perhaps best considered as a showcase for Christian Bale’s dedication wrapped in a side-order of unusual plotting. The deliberately dark and foreboding cinematography quickly creates a nightmarish quality to the film that underscores the protagonist’s self-alienation. The star of show, of course, is Bale, who lost a significant portion of his weight in order to portray his emaciated character. Unlike a good number of twisty movies, the film ends on a hopeful note, making the experience look like redemption more than deception. Yes, I’m being vague; but you’ll appreciate the coyness when you see the film.

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