The Machinist – A Story of Living Hell
How close do you think the movie Machinist is to reality? and how do you figure that the protagonist Trevor Reznik is supposed to be dead already? These are some of the mysteries that are yet to be answered but I can’t solve the puzzle as the plot of the movie has a lot of twists and turns, what can I do is just make an opinion and that’s all.
Let’s talk about the film’s closeness to reality? but before we further go ahead we must first talk about the profile of the protagonist Trevor Reznik who is a machinist in a factory. An extreme case of insomnia has led to him not sleeping in a year, and his body withering away to almost nothing. He has an obsessive compulsion to write himself reminder notes and keep track of his dwindling weight, both scribbled on yellow stickies in his apartment. The only person he lets into his life in an emotional sense is Stevie, a prostitute, although he has an infatuation with Maria, a single mother waitress working in an airport diner. His co-workers don’t associate with and mistrust him because of not knowing what is going on in his life that has led to his emaciated physical appearance.
Now we get back to our question that is how close the film is to the real life? The answer is simple the film may close to reality in extreme case like the life of the main character which is disturbingly depicted in a tragic way. But one can argue that was it the Trevor’s choice that made his life a living hell? That made him escape the reality and live in illusions. Or was it the abandonment or loneliness that caused him the pain and agony and made him doubt his sanity? But Trevor wasn’t that much lonely he got the company of a whore whom he trusted through out the film and also he was infatuated to the lady who works at the airport diner where he would like to go to eat just coffee and cake.We can conclude that it was not Trevor’s fault entirely the reason his life had become a living hell was due to the incident, a tragic hit and run accident in which the victim was a boy named Nicholas the only son of the airport diner lady Maria.
Let’s cut to chase and go on to our second question which is very interesting as it is aimed to expose a mystery in the whole film – the question is Trevor died during the accident in which he accidentally killed Nicholas Maria’s son After Trevor kills Nicholas in the accident in the flashback scene towards the end of the film, he continues driving: shock sets in and he dies in a car crash (in the final scene, he is seen driving through the tunnel toward a bright light). From what I gather, he died at the spot leaving the tunnel, where earlier in the film he barely missed a vehicle while chasing Ivan on the wrong side of the road. At that point his truck cut out and he found himself off-road, at the site where his life had ended in the crash.
I guess the reason Reznik looks so horrible throughout the film is that he’s actually dead. There are other clues, like on the Route 666 ride (which basically tells the story of his life with hands being cut off, a whore house and a child being run over) a red car is overturned and burning with a body nearby; the police officer mentioned that Reznik’s Fire-bird had been “totaled in a wreck”. Then there’s a direct hint with the “Highway to Hell/Road to Salvation” signs. The clock being stuck indicates that he is indefinitely “trapped” in the moment that he killed Nicholas, existing within another dimension until he admits to, and shows remorse for, his crime. So we can conclude that the story in the film is his purgatory.