American Psycho is a movie that shows the struggle of the corporate monster. That is probably the “American” part of the title. There is a handsome ivy league man, played by Christian Bale, and he is obsessed with wealth and fortune, whether he knows it or not. He explains how his life revolves around his own beauty. He is constantly going out to fancy restaurants in order to impress his fiancée, Evelyn. She is unaware of the obstacles he goes through in order to be able to come across so polished and so seemingly perfect.
His apartment is ridiculously nice and his clothes are never less than the best. He is the epitome of “Keeping up with the Jones’”. At one of his fancy dinners, a bunch of his ex-schoolmates and business colleagues decide that they should exchange business cards. For some reason, the quality of the card, i.e. the paper and the printing, seems to outweigh the quality of the actual service that the business might perform. Of course, Bateman, Bale’s character, is seriously pissed off that his is not the best. His entire goal is to be superior to his friends.
He develops a blood thirst when he realizes that killing makes him feel good. Somehow he maintains a façade, yet sardonically tells the truth about his intentions at public gatherings. What his means is that he might be at a bar and if someone asks him what he does, he tells them point blank: “Oh, I am into serial killing, mutilation, you know…” Of course everyone thinks it’s a joke until they are duped into being his next victim.
It’s seems like much of the movie might be his own imagination; because when he shoots the police car he actually stares at his gun in disbelief of tis power. What is strange is that the whole killing spree started with trying to feed a kitten, as directed by an atm. This sounds strange, but when he was going to feed a kitten a crazy girl happens along and becomes his first real victim. The others are not as real as the first.
When he admits the killings to his lawyer, he is hiding under his desk at Pierce and Pierce; he is trying to figure out who he is. He leaves a long message detailing about 30 grizzly murders. The idd thing is when he meets with the lawyer the next day, his message is treated ad though it was a joke. The lawyer even confirms that he has seen one of his victims recently.
The female characters in the film are usually the victims of Bateman’s rage. He is attractive enough to lure them in. He shoots porn and kills the girls. OR he imagines that he shoots porn and kills the girls. None of them would have stepped foot in his apartment if they had seen any of the previous scenes of grotesque violence. His fiancée Evelyn would have run for the hills if she had seen any of the scenes that she was not privy to.
One of the best scenes is in the taxi on the way to eat out. Evelyn proposes that they have an actual wedding ceremony. Patrick says that he can’t, because he can’t take off time from work. She wants to know why, and he says matter of factly: Because I want to fit in…. then in a fashion that explains how painstakingly socially aware Patrick is, he is incredibly uncomfortable thinking that they won’t have a good table at ESAPCE, the fancy restaurant they are going to. But, alas, they do, and he is relieved and able to act human for a moment. They are meeting up with Evelyn’s best friend, who Patrick is having an affair with. The whole table seems to be having an affair with each other. There are no loyalties. The woman who Patrick is interested in, Courtney, is always on some sort of drug. The main character likes this, and he describes her as “perfect”. Patrick is likely attracted to her because she is engaged to a business rival named Carruthers. The other men at the table attempt to have a real talk about real world problems, but Patrick trumps them all by listing al bunch of concerns that are more worthy than Sri Lanka. He seems to be some sort of humanist or an activist, when underneath he is harboring the feelings of psychoticism.
I picked this movie because of the way that it leaves you hanging at the end. Is he really a psycho, or is he a psycho only because he has imagined everything? The point of having a female director in this movie was to get an outside perspective on the male psyche, or psycho. The director definitely thought the main character was suffering from extreme self-obsession, and this is usually thought to be a female trait. His long beautifying routines are peculiar because they usually are routines that are associated with females. I like that his movie is vague about whether or not he performed the murders. I think that the female producer was the element that lent this type of interpretation to the film. Patrick is portrayed as a man who is struggling to keep up with the demands of society, and this is usually a race that women must contend. In this way, it seems like the gender roles are switched in this film.