“There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity”Review by Lewis Goodall
I’m not much of a serial killer myself. More of a practising serial killer where I just imagine strangling someones last breath out their lungs. I feel I’m not in the minority as I work in customer service and I feel everyone who is has these thoughts as well. American psycho reminds you that you aren’t the only one out there who also has these thoughts.
The American Psycho in this story is Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale), a suave businessman who has a lust for spilling blood. When he brutally murders a colleague of his, he is mentally on the run trying to side step the detectives whilst also still fulfilling his craving for killing.
This film is directed by Mary Harron and is based on a novel by the same title by Bret Easton Ellis and congratulations to them both for creating an incredible story and bringing it to life really well. It does a fantastic job of following along with every move of the protagonist, Patrick Bateman. Played by Christian Bale amazingly by the way. The smooth tones of his voice as he narrates his thoughts do a fantastic job of luring you in to the way Bateman works. You can certainly tell that the film is based on a novel, a film where the main character narrates the film is more than likely based on a book.
The movie starts of with showing us Patrick Batemans morning routine. He is a very high up banking executive with a very fancy business card so you can imagine how eccentric his morning routine is. Having 4 different types of moisturiser for his face, using a face mask and doing 1,000 stomach crunches. This whole scene I felt was a perfect introduction to this character, showing how meticulous a person he is. This matched with the voice-over creates an already intricate character. Patrick is a really fun character to watch the whole way through as he navigates his fellow fancy business associates. It was interesting that Patrick had a love for music, he would always play music and describe the songs and their intricacies to his next victim which I felt was a really nice niche to have for a serial killer. Also the music choices Patrick had were all bangers so you keep killing, just keep playing that sweet music.
The acting overall is pretty great, you have in the mix Jared Leto who plays one of the Yuppies in the business and also Willem Dafoe who is the detective set out to uncover the mystery of a missing Yuppie. There weren’t any particular performances that I felt were overly bad apart from maybe a couple which were a bit lackluster from secondary characters. There were definitely a few haircuts which I felt were very questionable, bowls were definitely used.
The acting of course is partnered with a fantastic script, especially for Patrick as just the way that he speaks is very natural and collected which is very true to any serial killer. As well as having to incorporate all the gory murders that happen within the story, there’s also a lot of room where they managed to fit humour in as well. The comedy aspects of the film were really good and it was a great contrast to the events unfolding onscreen. Especially one scene in particular where Patrick is preparing for his next kill. He has the victim on a chair in his apartment, intoxicated so they don’t really know what it happening. All while they’re being tipsy on the chair, Patrick is wondering around the apartment, talking about the music he is playing. He’s talking about their music and how they weren’t a fan of their first albums, all while this is happening, he is putting on a raincoat and grabbing an axe to decapitate this guy. Before killing him he does a little boogy to the song and its all very lighthearted to which is comes crashing down instantly once the axe starts a swinging. It’s that sudden change in tone that was excellent and reflects on just how flippant Partick’s mind is as well.
In my opinion the ending is what makes the film. It is a great film anyway but the ending just gives you so much more to play around with. No spoilers ahead because I highly suggest you see this film, but the end opens up a lot more doorways to the film which makes you want to go back and watch it again to find any details that you may have missed first time that would help get an answer to this ending. This probably doesn’t make much sense when you haven’t seen the film so go and watch it to know what I’m talking about.