November 8, 2004

American Psycho

I watched American Psycho the other night. It is a very tense and freaky movie but not really a horror film. Although many people are killed, there is very little focus on the gore and a lot more focus on Patrick Bateman's behavior and mental state. In fact, many of the killings are not depicted at all. The movie is a very interesting character study of Patrick Bateman. Now I want to read the book.

Christian Bale plays the role of Patrick Bateman very well. I also liked him a lot in Equilibrium. You cannot help but accept Bateman's psychosis and behavior because to a large extent, there is nothing externally unusual about it. He is obsessive about the superficial but in a way people can identify with. And there is no "snap" that occurs to trigger his murderous behavior. In fact, it is when he is most emotional that he cannot kill others.

Unlike a horror movie, the point of American Psycho is not for you to become scared of the killer. Instead, you are supposed to understand him and live in his world. The entire story is presented from the view of Bateman and the narration is necessary for the audience to get into Bateman's state of mind. More than anything, what you find is not someone who would necessarily be characterized as psychotic, but rather someone who is an empty shell. This is stated clearly in the movie, in both words and in the state of Bateman's life. Bateman fills the shell with something he cannot buy, or aquire: the activity of murder. For someone who can spend $100 on lunch and doesn't do a bit of work, this is what can make him feel alive. It is what he can have that no one else can.

Posted by josuah at November 8, 2004 7:48 PM UTC+00:00

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Author Profile Pagehey dude says at November 11, 2004 2:26 AM

He is a dangerous phycho, do you not think so? Luckily he exists in the movie and the book and not in my world.

Post a comment

July 2013
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31