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The Machinist - Movie Metaphors

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

By now you’re probably used to Christian Bale’s extreme transformations for different roles. 

But the one that really put him on the map was his role as Trevor Reznik in the Machinist - Bale went from 13 stone down to a staggering 7 and half stone. Apparently he did this by taking up smoking to suppress his appetite and living on a apple a day. 

So what’s it all about? Trevor Reznik is an insomniac machinery worker who’s life is seemingly losing control. 

He frequents a prostitute and keeps the company or a late night diner waitress to pass away the sleepless nights. 

There are clues that Trevor’s life was once normal with fellow workers constantly talking about his weight loss and alluding to him changing into a bit or a weirdo. 

His life takes an unexpected turn when a Post-It note appears on his fridge depicting a hangman and a 6 letter word as a clue. 

Unaware of the identity of the intruder, Trevor’s lack of sleep and paranoia moves into overdrive. 

During the course of the film the viewer goes on this journey with Reznik as he starts experiencing increasingly bizarre occurrence - he is blamed for one of the machines mysteriously turning on and ripping his colleagues arm clean off. Blood starts dripping from his fridge and a very odd man enters his life. 

So what does it all mean? Oh and by the way there are some pretty big spoilers coming up.

Well the film is one big foreshadowing to a major event that happened in Reznik’s life one year ago.

We learn at the end that he was involved in a hit and run in which he killed a small child while jumping a light in his prized Pontiac Viper and we have been watching a tapestry of clues to his now suppressed crime.

The woman in the diner? Well that was the Childs mum running in the road after the accident.

There is a great scene in the film where Trevor goes to the fun fair and the ghost train details his previous crime and current lifestyle.

The mysterious character of Ivan is a direct metaphor for Trevor’s guilt, he is a grotesque version of himself and this delusion ultimately leads him to handing himself in. In fact Trevor starts replying himself in photos with the character of Ivan. Ivan even drives the Pontiac Viper which he driving when he killed the small boy a year ago.

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