It’s no secret that I love Christian Bale and his movies, but American Psycho (2000) is my absolute favorite movie of all times. It’s also one of my favorite books. I love everything American Psycho, and since it’s Throwback Thursday, we’re doing an Old But Gold post about this masterpiece.
American Psycho is a movie about yuppies in New York City in the early 2000s, and one of them happens to be Patrick Bateman – a handsome, successful but very shallow and lonely maniac who enjoys maniac stuff. Like killing people in the most brutal way you can imagine. And if you read the book, the word brutal gets a whole other meaning. The first thing I want to emphasize and honor is Christian Bale’s performance, which is absolutely amazing.
Have you seen the scene where he turns himself in? Or when he slaughters Paul Allen, who is, by the way, portrayed by the one and only Jared Leto? THAT’S what’s called an outstanding performance. Patrick Bateman is a typical douchebag who sleeps around with various women and, when asked by his fiancé when they’re getting married, he says “I can’t take the time off work”. Smooth.
In spite of everything, you can’t help but enjoy him and admire his routine and dedication to his own looks. However, at the beginning of the movie he describes himself with a collection of clashing and ill-defined motivations that have little coherence, which makes me think of schizotypical disorders – and believe me, those are not the only disorders Bateman is suffering from.
Those disorders are crucial for the movie! Everyone interprets it differently because the movie is so open to interpretation. Exactly because Bateman is associated with mental disorders, I question whether the happenings in the movie really did happen or not. The movie is narrated by Patrick, so everything you see is from his point of view and you see what he sees. He kills a lot! In his head.
The only time we see it from another person’s point of view is when Patrick’s assistant Gene opens his notebook and sees drawings of his murders, which indicates that it’s all in his head. At the very end, before he turns himself in, he shoots at a police car that explodes, and even Patrick himself is shocked – because it’s a fantasy. And to make it even more messed up, Bateman’s lawyer claimed that he saw Paul Allen after Bateman supposedly slaughtered him because Allen had a better business card and managed to get a Friday night reservation at Dorsia. American Psycho also shows the typical yuppie community and their superficial lifestyle.
I know I spoiled a bit but I promise you that, if you like bizarre movies, you’re gonna love American Psycho if you haven’t seen it yet. It mixes various genres – at one point it’s comedy, a few scenes later it’s drama and some scenes are pure horror. Christian Bale did a perfect job alongside Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Justin Theroux and Willem Dafoe.
Ps. Watch the trailer and you’ll see what I’m talking about.