Back to top

The Machinist

Twitter
Amazon ASIN
Cast
Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
Released
2004
Spoiler alert
Spoiler alert!
Blog entry

Machinist Trevor washes his hands with bleach. Prostitute Stevie tells Trevor, "If you were any thinner you wouldn't exist." (0:03)

Waitress Marie tells Trevor, "If you were any thinner you wouldn't exist." (0:09)

Trevor nods off, records his weight on the wall, scrubs the floor tile grout with a toothbrush and bleach. (0:11)

Trevor's boss asks Trevor, "Are you doing drugs Reznik?"
"I need to ask you for a UA." (0:13)

The lighter in Trevor's truck pops out. Trevor sees stranger Ivan in the parking lot. (0:15)

Stevie reassures Trevor, "Everyone gets insomnia now and then."
Trevor: "I haven't slept in a year."
"No one every died of insomnia." (0:17)

Trevor sees Ivan make a throat slashing gesture before an accident in the shop. When he looks again Ivan has disappeared. (0:19)

Trevor washes his hands with bleach. Back at home he discovers a stick drawing on the refrigerator and wonders who might have left it there. (0:21)

Trevor's boss tells him, "There is no Ivan..."
"Mr. Reznik have you recently suffered any head injuries?" Close up of Trevor's truck dash as the lighter pops out. (0:25)

Trevor tells Marie he will visit the "cemetery" on Mothers' Day.
Marie: "I lost mine too."
Trevor: "It didn't hit me until I picked out her burial dress." (0:27)

Trevor notices the cafe clock: "1:30" (0:28)

Trevor sees Ivan drive off in a red convertible. (0:30)

Ivan tells Trevor, "You look like a dope fiend to me."
Trevor "I don't use drugs." (0:32)

Trevor finds a picture of machinist Reynolds and Ivan holding a fish they caught. (0:35)

Trevor notices additions to the note on the refrigerator: a hanging man. (0:36)

Trevor talks to Stevie about "some kind of plot." (0:37)

Trevor tells Marie, referring to her son, "I could kill myself for taking him on that ride." (0:44)

Marie's wall clock: "1:30."
A kitchen counter clock turns to "1:30." (0:45)

Trevor believes his coworkers have tried to injure him with a machine. (0:53)

Trevor washes his hands with lye. (0:56)

Trevor confronts injured machinist Miller, sees Ivan, follows him. (1:04)

Trevor intentionally runs in front of a moving car driven by a mother tending to her baby in the passenger seat. (1:08)

A police officer tells Trevor the car that hit him belonged to Trevor. (1:10)

Trevor finds the picture of Reynolds and Ivan in Stevie's apartment. (1:17)

Stevie sees Trevor in the picture. Trevor tells her, "That's not me." (1:20)

To Trevor the waitress at the airport cafe seems unfamiliar. She tells him, "I was starting to think you were a mute."
Trevor, "Is everybody in on it?" (1:22)

Trevor sees Ivan in the red convertible and follows. Marie's son Nicholas gets out of the car with Ivan who tells Trevor, "You ought to do something about that faulty memory of yours pal." (1:23)

Ivan shines a flashlight on Trevor. Trevor washes his hands. He sees Ivan in the mirror. Now in the Firebird Trevor sees the clock read "1:30." He reaches for the lighter as it pops out. The car hits a boy crossing the street. Trevor speeds away. He finishes the hanging man drawing, completing the word "killer."  (1:29)

Trevor sees Ivan beside him in the truck. Trevor reports his accident to police. As he sits in his cell he says, "Just want to sleep." (1:34)

Losing weight, unable to sleep for a year, suffering from excessive sleepiness (with microsleeps?), cleaning and hand washing compulsions and amnesia, the protagonist becomes convinced there is a conspiracy to harm him involving a man and a car. As the story unfolds we see that others do not see things as he does and, suspecting him of drug abuse, his employer demands a urine drug screen. Ultimately, as his life unravels, we realize that dissociative processes related to a traumatic experience (which he repeats, substituting himself as the victim) explain his symptoms and have led to misidentification of characters, including the man who represents an alter. Both Capgras' syndrome and the Fregoli phenomenon are suggested.