American Psycho

American Psycho ★★★★

Unironically the most destructive thing Patrick did in this movie was ask someone “do you like Phil Collins?”.

I know I said in the comment section that I didn’t have much to say about the movie, but after I let it flow through my mind to let me contemplate its plot and hidden messages. Going in, I expected a slasher with some hidden context exploring its lead character, but I think I got something a whole lot bigger than that, and I couldn’t help but elaborate on what makes it such a great movie. So here’s how American Psycho explores American economy and how humans view each other on the outside rather than wanting to actually understand someone on the inside.

I think the movie uses violence and aggresion as a way to send a message about comformity to a much broader audience. I especially loved the scene of Bateman doing ab crunches while watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not only is it funny, but it shows us rather than tell us how violence doesn’t affect him in any way. That film is absolutely horrifying to sane people such as myself, but Bateman chooses to watch it as a means to experience others committing the same violence he is, even if its just in a movie. That scene only lasts less than 10 seconds, but I was able to dissect so much out of it simply due to the fact that this movie does not miss any marks in making its plot as tight as possible. My one flaw with the movie is that, in my opinion, Willem Dafoe’s character has no impact on the movie in any interesting way whatsoever. It’s a waste of a great actor that they had to get him to play someone who could have been cut from the script entirely. But everything featuring Bateman is, obviously, masterful. Bale is able to bring so much comedy and drama in a single performance that single handedly rivals all his other ones combined. He’s having so much fun dressing up and playing as an extreme narcissistic serial killer who has to hide that facade from others to maintain his already corrupt role in society. And his character’s complexity within his own psyche creates one of the best character studies I’ve seen.

One thing I do want to say is that I do think every single event that takes place in the movie is actually happening. Bateman is doing all this deranged stuff, and I think it sends a message about modern society and how it’s almost unrecognizable now. He did all this insanely horrible stuff and even confessed to it all on a phone call with his lawyer, but his reputation remains the same. Because none of his other Wall Street yuppies couldn’t care less about him, and like Bateman says at the end of the movie, “but even after admitting this, there is no catharsis”. Bateman was so obsessed about fitting in with a group of people to hide the fact that he is mentally insane, but when all that comes out, it doesn’t faze them at all in any way. This is shown through the fact that no one recognizes him by his name. You could say the environment around him shaped who he was, and I would completely agree with that. The film is an exploration of American economy from the 80s and early 90s, where men from Wall Street and high rankings in society would move around through life by exploiting the lower class, drugs, sex and pornography. All these things Bateman commits and experiments with throughout the movie, and the use of pornography is utilized extremely well to showcase the modern American ecosystem. Because only 20 years ago, obviously taking away the murder involved with the plot, every single thing Bateman committed did happen. And, despite our society being more aware of the economy’s various flaws and mishaps, all this stuff does continue to happen in even grosser fashion believe it or not. So, even if you couldn’t relate to anything in this movie, maybe try watching it again, only this time instead of viewing it as a slasher film or an art house/filmbro movie, try viewing it as a deep dive into a character fueled by lies and greed. And, even if he does the most cruel, vile, and horrifying things a human can think of (like slashing someone with a chainsaw), in the end, it doesn’t matter. And that’s genuinely the most terrifying aspect of the entire movie.

And BTW is was really weird seeing Batman behave and act like The Joker. Imagine if there was an interaction before Bateman killed Paul Allen where he was like: "how about a magic trick? I'm gonna make The Joker disappear."

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