I notice that Trevor always cleaned his hands and toilet floor with bleach. He surely kept things clean at home that he always bought bleach, he kept several used toothbrushes to scrub his floor in detail manner, he kept notes at the fridge. But when he past his fridge when there was fish-blood leak on the fridge, he didn't notice the leak until his third passing.

  1. What is the relationship between the bleach and the plot?

  2. Why didn't he notice the blood from the rotten fish when he was a bit aware of cleanliness?

  3. What is the relationship between the bloody and rotten fish inside the fridge (that he got when he went fishing with one of his co-worker) with the whole story?


4 Answers 4


The bleach is for Trevor to clean his apartment with. Because he cannot sleep, I can only assume he turned his mind to something to keep him distracted; hence over-cleaning his apartment.

He probably did not notice the blood as because the fish were from the trip that we can assume he was coming home from when he killed 'Nicholas'. He probably was so shocked from this crime that he shoved the fish into the freezer and forgot about them as his mind began to shut down over the course of the next year.

I don't believe it is explicitly shown that this has occurred during the whole year, but at the very end when Trevor is trying to find Ivan, when he stops caring about his apartment due to his manhunt is when this occurs.


Let's not forget the symbolism behind him washing his hands with the bleach. Bleach is used to remove stains that cannot be cleaned off with regular detergent, however Trevor uses the bleach in a more metaphorical sense. He cannot get over the crime he committed as it constantly haunts him, meaning he lives his life with his hands "dirty." He constantly washes his hands with bleach to try to clear his conscience, but even the bleach doesn't remove the stain that has led him to psychopathy. He is constantly cleaning in attempt to clean his past; it isn't so much to keep him occupied. He is not a neat-freak, the actual blood on the floor likely did not bother him as much as the metaphorical blood on his hands.


He washes his hands repeatedly using bleach as he is subconsciously aware of what he has done and is trying to "wash the blood off his hands" so to speak in an albeit psychosomatic manner.

He didn't notice the fridge as his mind had subconsciously omitted it from his memory and prevented him from seeing what would be evidence of Ivan's true identity as Trevor himself.

One could argue that the rotting fish is representative of Trevor's crime and it's effect on his mind. He shuts it away in the freezer and never looks at it, as he shuts out memory of his crime in his head. It then starts to deteriorate and decay, spoiling the rest of the freezer contents, as the cognitive dissonance caused by Trevor's denial of his guilt causes his mind to decay in a similar fashion. The freezer then ceases to work and the contents spill out as Trevor's mind decays at first privately and then conspicuously to those around him, until his guilt becomes so blatant to himself that he forces himself to finally look at it for what it is, as Trevor eventually opens the freezer and looks inside.


The fish is a symbol of christianity. There is not only the fish in the freezer, if you pay attention fish symbolism is all over the film. The picture of him and the welder is when he caught the tuna in the freezer, over a year ago. There are many other instances the bumper sticker, fish paintings in marie's house, even in his pencil bowl there is a rubber fish. The significance the the christian theme ties into the plot, Reznik has guilt because he killed the child in a hit and run. Several times throughout the movie he comes to a fork in the road where he has to choose a path, the right side is illuminated which represents justice and salvation. The left path is dark, the way to hell. Reznik goes left on three different occasions, spiraling deeper into chaos. The character Miller also strengthens the Christian theme, he is easy to forgive Reznik for the loss of his arm, something that is not easy to do, he provides a Christian example. Reznik is played by Christian Bale which is pretty weird too. This film deserves more credit then it gets. It's full of symbolism and the look and cinematography are quite interesting throughout, lot's of meaningful composition. Not to mention one of the best paced modern thrillers, it defiantly has a tone and pace reminiscent of Hitchcock films, complete with the post it note McGuffin. Brad Anderson one ups Hitchcock by actually incorporating the McGuffin into the resolution. Brilliant filmmaking one of my new favs.


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