American Psycho (2000) Movie Review
Written By: TJ
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Mary Harron
Producers: Edward Pressman, Christian Solomon
Writers: Guinevere Turner, Mary Harron
Date Released: April 14, 2000
Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman
Willem Dafoe as Donald Kimball
Jared Leto as Paul Allen
Josh Lucas as Craig Mcdermott
Chloë Sevigny as Jean
Reese Witherspoon as Evelyn Williams
Cara Seymour as Christie
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Envious of his coworker’s success, young professional Patrick Bateman plots the murder of Paul Allen. Trying to hide the evidence from the hired private investigator, Bateman finds himself deep within the uncontrollable bloodlust to torture, rape, and murder anyone who gets in his way. Later on after confessing his crimes to his lawyer, he comes to a realization of the true state of his sanity.
Literally from the word ‘bloodbath’, victims of our protagonist Patrick Bateman swim in the pool of their own blood after fateful deaths at the hands of a serial killer. Although the film does not use most of their 104-minute running time on gore, it definitely maximizes some scenes by explicitly using sexual acts and brutal killings to either maintain the viewers’ interest or make them cringe on their seats. There is also a couple of scenes where animals are kicked to death and almost shot on the head that will leave pet lovers angry and helpless at the same time.
The Grave Review
American Psycho (2000) focuses on the disturbed psychological state of the handsome young man, Patrick Bateman, hence, the first person point of view in the narration. There is also a hint of dark humor centralizing on the self-absorbed and hedonistic elites of New York during the ‘80s. The similarity of the main characters mostly composed of men, explains why Bateman gets away with his murders, solely because they are so self-centered that they do not even care about other people around them (emphasizing on the mistaken identities throughout the film).
The story goes beyond the untamed thoughts inside the body of a normal human being whom we know as Patrick Bateman. It also shows the massive gap between the haves and have nots. How justice is served when a rich man is killed and when a poor man’s life has suddenly been taken away.
Performances of the actors are commendable since most of the characters don’t really require intense acting. However, the numerous awards for Best Actor are really deserved by Christian Bale who played the role of Patrick Bateman. With the awe-striking act during his confession over the phone, you could definitely say that the role creepily fits him perfectly.
The confusing part of this film is the ending where Bateman learns that his lawyer do not believe any of his confession and clearly sees it as a good joke. Later on, he narrates to the audience that there is no catharsis and that his confession has meant nothing. This portrays “real or not real” approach on the plot which is surely not the idea that the director wants to give the audience as said in one of her group discussions. So the question here is, did everything really happen? Or is it all just in Bateman’s head?
There is enough ambiguity about the ending of the movie that it leaves more questions than answer. In retrospect, the film holds together no matter which approach you accept, and the seams never show. American Psycho may be controversial (and some people will undoubtedly be shocked and repulsed by the violence), but it represents one of the most daring, inventive, and invigorating movies to reach the screen during the dreary first half of 2000.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives American Psycho (2000) three graves out of five graves.
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