AMERICAN PSYCHO - 2000 – movie - A Classic Review - directed & written by Mary Harron – based on
the novel by Bret Easton Ellis – the players are: Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), Timothy (Justin Theroux), Craig (Josh Lucus), Donald (Willem Dafoe).
This is Christian Bale at his best - a successful Wall Street Banker who is descending slowly into a world of delusional, homicidal madness. His character, Bateman, and those around him are cartoon cutouts of actual people. They speak in silly hackneyed phrases that no one uses in the real world. Their talk is a mockery of true conversation.
They place a great deal of value on minute differences in their look-alike jobs. Their concerns are parodied in a scene where they compare barely detectable differences in their business cards. It’s difficult to believe people like these really exist. It’s as if it’s all a joke and, soon, we’re all going to be let in on the punch line. The business card exchange is the movie’s most talked about scene. Link here, Mary Harron, American Psycho, card scene… and the entire ritual of masculine status and competition will be explained in the director’s own words.
Bateman engages in weird behavior, spouting nonsense in every scene, which is largely ignored because those around him are nonsensical clichéd cardboard characterizations of real people much like himself.
He appears to perform a series of bloody murderous acts where many people are shot,
axed, and cut up with a chainsaw. But, its all an illusion… there are no consequences for his actions in the real world. We see Bateman feeling that he has committed all these violent acts, he tries to confess, but nobody believes him.
There are alternative theories about all this but there are no clues in the movie that lend any
credibility to the possibility that any of the murders were real. Getting rid of the evidence, the blood, the bodies, etc. and cleaning up, would have been impossible. He leaves finger prints everywhere… he carries a pistol that never misses, it blows up cars… and has an endless magazine full of bullets.
I had to screen this movie because I’d just seen Bale in “The Fighter” where he stole the show. We should all look at more of his work.