This film was definitely a Physiological Thriller. By this I mean that not only did the clever filming and trickery reel the watcher in and keep them hooked, but because it was totally from the view point of someone who was turning slowly and undoubtedly insane, for once the viewer could not second-guess the plot or have their own feelings and opinions about the goings on, and instead had to completely immerse themselves in the film until you felt like you were the traumatised and dysfunctional leading character.
The first scene acts as the definitive scene, one that the plot comes back to at the end which helps to finally answer all the mystery and dead ends. This was a clever ploy and one that truly set the film out to be memorable and very watchable. There is no real way of summarising the plot without giving the story away, as on the one hand it can seem like a twisted and complicated story, but on the other hand once you understand all the points of the plot at the end, it seems so obvious and you wonder why you had not foreseen the huge twist in one of the final scenes. However, this is down to my earlier point, that the viewer starts thinking like the leading character who has not slept for over a year, so is clearly not think exactly clearly.
I think that Christian Bale played the character of Trevor Reznik, (a machinist who had been suffering with chronic insomnia for over a year and who was therefore slowly losing touch with reality,) outstandingly, and truly embodied the doomed character. Bale was painfully underweight for this film, making him at times very hard to look at, which is an example of the way the film cleverly used imagery to make the viewer part of the experience. Tense and gruelling scenes from the factory where he worked also added to the harshness of the viewing, and some of these shots were also almost unwatchable. This shows that this film was a good physiological thriller, as the mixture of terrifying scenes mixed with clips that were disjointed and surreal, (such as clocks ticking backwards or confusing flashbacks,) stripped the viewer of normal and rational thoughts, and you became the troubled Reznik.
I love this kind of film because after watching such a powerful and clever array of images and stories, you feel as if you were part of the film, and the thoughts and emotions you felt won’t leave you for days.