A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam vet attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of disassociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death.
Trevor Reznik 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. A workplace incident further alienates him with his coworkers, and in conjunction with some unfamiliar pieces of paper he finds in his apartment, Trevor believes that someone or some people - probably one or some of his coworkers - are out to get him, using a phantom employee named Ivan as their front. As Trevor goes on a search for evidence as to... Written by
While Trevor is riding Route 666, one shot reveals a sign overhead that reads "Crime and Punishment", the Dostoevsky novel about a guilty man who attempts to justify his innocence. This also provides the bookend, if you will, to Trevor's home reading, The Idiot, which is Dostoevsky's examination of an innocent man whom others lure into their webs of corruption and which has a very surprising and climatic ending; thus foreshadowing the movie's own ending. The movie also has similarities to Dostoevsky's "The Double", which contains a character that appears and begins to ruin the protagonist's life. The doppelganger turns out to be a pseudo-schizophrenic manifestation of the protagonist's less desirable characteristics. See more »
Though the film is set in a West Coast American city, the pavement markings in the streets are European, e.g. no center yellow stripes. See more »
I really enjoyed this film. It reminded me of 21 Grams, Jacob's Ladder and Memento. Perhaps the finale left a few questions unanswered or felt a little anti-climactic but an amazing performance by Christian Bale. Haunted, brave, vulnerable, murderous but also very moving. A film which stays with you.
Now, here's an eggheaded thing, but did anyone notice the constant stream of Dostoyevsky references in the movie? Not only did Resnick (remind anyone of Raskolnikov?) put down a copy of Dostoyevsky's The Idiot at one point but the whole movie owed a lot to Notes From The Underground, Crime And Punishment and The Double. Did anyone spot the sign in the Ghost Train sequence which read Crime And Punishment? Or that Sharian's character is called Ivan (cf The Brothers Karamazov - especially the chapter Ivan's Dream)? Jennifer Jason Leigh's character is very familiar from Dostoyevsky, as was the saintly Maria.
Its a cracking film and none of these references are indispensable to enjoying it but I thought I would point it out.
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