New this week On Demand and digital download from Nexus Production Group!
Directed by Sarah Jayne, Ivan Malekin.
Written by Ivan Malekin.
Starring Steffi Thake, Sean James Sutton, Mikhail Basmadjian, Matteo Testa, Rambert Attard, Nicole Thake, Andrew Bonello, Monika Kopcilova, Simone Ellul
Find out more about this film here!
An agoraphobic and OCD afflicted woman (Steffi Thake) struggles with isolation, her troubled past, and mental illness at the height of the pandemic.
MACHINATION highlights the events of the last year or two effectively. It shows how some took the pandemic extremely hard in terms of the way it heightened many people’s already frayed nerves and personal issues during an extended period of time staying inside, away from others, and alone with one’s own thoughts. Being sort of an introvert, I have to say I loved the lockdown. I had more time to write, I started a youtube channel, and tried to focus more on my creative side. Others didn’t occupy their time so well and this movie shows how it was devastating to one particularly damaged woman.
Now, I think a lot of people don’t really want to be reminded of the lockdown and the pandemic. Being so absorbed with it in the news and in conversations, many just want to move on and not reflect on it. So I can understand why there are some who choose not to be interested in this film because of it’s “Too Soon” feel. MACHINATION is also quite uneventful for long stretches of the movie. It goes to extreme lengths following the lead through the rigorous cleaning sequences she goes through any time she leaves the apartment; cleaning her shoes, stripping down from her clothes, washing her hands, washing the clothes, scrubbing the floor she walked on—it’s somewhat interesting to watch this sad madness, but still, it is going to be a test of one’s patience.
There is an interesting story to get to once we understand the lead’s compulsive behaviors, typical day, and growing isolation she creates from her job, family, and eventually any life outside of her home. There are some gnarly shots of maggots and worms crawling all over that will make the skin crawl, as she believes that she is dirty, no matter how much she cleans herself and her apartment. This is the breaking down of a person and it makes for some very depressing scenes.
Steffi Thake is very good in this role. She seems fearless in showing herself in a very unappealing light. Her depiction of mental illness is well done and it’s her performance that makes this a worthwhile watch. But if you do dare to watch MACHINATION, pack your patience and those looking for escapist fiction, venture elsewhere. It’s a relentless character study that is literally ripped from the headlines, but it may be a little too real for people’s comforts.