Film Review: "American Psycho" (2000)

Posted by prla1983 on August 04, 2006 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

The story of Patrick Bateman, the serial killer of Bret Easton Ellis 1991 novel, seen through the eyes of a woman director. Would this have been the same movie if it was done by a man? It probably wouldn't. And that's a good thing.

There's black comedy, satire and gore in equal proportions. The way violence is shown to - or kept from - the viewer reminded me of "Reservoir Dogs" in the way that the camera slightly deviates from the target forcing us to imagine exactly what's happening right there. Andrezj Sekula cinematography struck me as particularly good as it perfectly resembles that 80s look and feel in a picture that's been released in 2000.

And then there's a brilliant performance by Christian Bale, one of the best serial killer impersonations I've ever seen and Bale's best acting ever if it wasn't for stuff like "The Machinist" which would come later in his career. What's really difficult about doing a serial killer role is not exactly the killings but rather, and very much so in this case, the downward spiral of their mind. Bateman is a victim of the mid to late 80s lust in America, Wall Street in particular, like all of his colleagues. He's just gone a little bit overboard (this is obviously an understatement but you get my point). His insanity is in fact a by product of his lifestyle. There's this scene where Bateman, in a state of complete despair, admits all his crimes to his lawyer over the phone which is utterly brilliant and Bale nails it.

The final stages of the film are kind of open, lending themselves to different interpretations and personally I prefer having to rethink the whole film under a different light after I've seen it.

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