Title: American Psycho
Directed by: Mary Harron
Genre: Thriller, Black comedy
Starring: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Reese Witherspoon, Justin Theroux
Runtime: 101 min
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is an attractive, rich, professional who is surrounded by people just like him – self-centered men who cares about nothing but themselves and their appearances. Bateman is so self-absorbed that he hates it when someone is better than him. Even if the topic at hand is their business card, he still wants to be better than everyone.
This kind of story is really appealing to me because unfortunately, I can relate to this kind of perception in life. Everything is a competition even if it’s not. And this is also a social commentary to the people around us, to be honest. Some people are really obsessed with being the number one and they get really sucked into that world that some of them cannot even differentiate one gentleman from another.
As for the acting, my respect for Christian Bale keeps on getting higher and higher. He was phenomenal in this film, playing a professional by day and a serial killer whenever he snaps.I genuinely liked Bale’s portrayal of Patrick Bateman. One minute he’s a wealthy, attractive man and the next thing you know, he is hitting you with an axe. The fact that he was good looking helped in this film as well. There was one scene wherein he was having sex with an escort but he doesn’t even look at her, he only looks at himself. And by doing that, he is getting pleasure. That’s how self-absorbed he is – to the point that he does not feel any connection with another human being.
And for the third act, my whole perspective of the film changed. I honestly thought that he is just another psychopath who kills people whenever he likes it but this changed when we saw the things in his point of view. The scenes where the ATM said “Feed me a stray cat” and the one with the police chasing him pointed out that he has drifted away from reality. There is no way that an ATM could show those words because it doesn’t make any sense. There is also no way for Bateman to blow up the police cars using a pistol. It does show that yes, he is a pretty sick guy.
Now, there’s been a debate around the interwebs if Bateman was really a serial killer or not. My first theory was that he was not. He just imagined all of it just like he imagined the cars blowing up. But then he is an unreliable character.His imagination has heightened and it is very hard to distinguish reality and fantasy anymore. Since his point of view cannot be relied on, whatever the audience sees, might also be unreliable.
This is a very watchable film with an interesting character and I will definitely rewatch it again, and even recommend it to some people I know.