American Psycho is a horror movie with a lot of dismembered bodies and blood. However, it is difficult to call it a thriller. Some bloody scenes bring a smile to the face of the viewer, others – pity for the maniac. What kind of zest did the director Mary Harron present to fans of thrillers? And what is the meaning of the movie “American Psycho”?
The meaning of the movie “American Psycho” is not as simple as it seems. Let’s take a look at the plot of the thriller first.
Patrick Bateman is the vice president of a well-known company. Every morning he starts with exercises, takes a shower, does styling and face masks, applies numerous creams to the skin. He has a lot of costumes and an impeccable appearance.
Patrick goes to a restaurant with friends. It promotes the ideas of combating terrorism, hunger, racism, inequality between men and women. He has a girlfriend – Evelyn. She sleeps with his friend, and Bateman sleeps with her friend.
Kill for a business card
At work, all the VPs discuss their business card designs. Paul Allen constantly calls Patrick Marcus. Bateman is furious when he learns that Alain’s business card is nicer to the touch, prettier than his.
Returning from work in the evening, Patrick kills a homeless black man who smells bad. The next day, the hero meets Paul Allen, invites him home and hacks him to death with an axe. The corpse in a sleeping bag drags, without fear of anyone, along the hotel lobby, throws it into the trunk of a car. His friend Louis Caruthers passes by and asks where Bateman got such a beautiful sleeping bag.
A detective comes to Patrick’s office, interrogates him about the disappearance of Paul Allen. In Bateman’s obviously nervous state, no one suspects him.
In the evening, the hero has sex with two prostitutes, filming everything on camera. Pays girls for work and lets go.
On a note! Bret Easton Ellis’s book American Psycho, well conveyed by Mary Harron in the film of the same name, contains many more brutal murders and bloody scenes than its film adaptation.
Louis made a new business card, the coolest one – Patrick is ready to kill him. As he puts his hands to Louis’ throat in an attempt to choke him, the employee mistakes him for being gay, which is pleasantly surprised. Bateman leaves in disgust.
Conveyor of the killed
At the party, the protagonist and his co-workers sniff the powder. Patrick takes home an unfamiliar girl, and in the morning he twists a cut lock of her hair in his hands. The next evening, he invites his secretary to his place, but Evelyn’s call prevented her from killing her.
Bateman again brings two prostitutes to him. He has sex with them, shoots a video, admires himself in the mirror. Then he brutally kills both.
At dinner with Evelyn, he confesses his manic passion to her and offers to leave.
When Patrick tries to put a kitten into the ATM, he is stopped by an older woman. The protagonist takes out a gun and shoots her, then kills a guard on the way, goes to his office. Leaves a message on his lawyer’s answering machine – confesses to the murders, arranges a meeting.
The lawyer at the meeting declares that everything Patrick said is a good joke. Alain cannot be dead – he was recently seen in London.
Plot Explanation & the meaning of the film
What is the point of the 2000 American Psycho film directed by Mary Harron?
The main idea of the thriller is to show the wrong side of yuppie life. It seems to everyone around that these people are the most beautiful, successful and happy. They have everything and everything is available to them – they dine in the best restaurants, they can attend any parties, own expensive cars, beautiful women.
At first, the viewer sees just such a yuppie Patrick. He is well-groomed, elegant, walks in branded clothes, visits expensive restaurants and beauty salons. His position is vice president of the company, he is a respected member of society and a desirable man.
Not everything is so sweet
However, the negative aspects of the life of Bateman and other yuppie representatives are immediately revealed:
- lack of individuality. All Patrick’s employees are similar to each other. The same hairstyles, costumes, looks, speeches, cars. Therefore, wealthy people in the film themselves do not always identify each other. So Alain Paul often called Bateman Marcus, confusing the hero with another colleague;
- constant competition – the desire to show oneself the best at least in something. Since yuppies have almost everything the same, the only thing they can boast of is the design of the business card: color, paper material, name font. Hence the desire of the protagonist to kill employees whose business cards turned out to be more successful, more beautiful;
- lack of feelings and emotions. Patrick himself admits that he has human traits, but he does not have a single clear emotion, except for greed and disgust;
- exchange of sexual partners. In high society, people are deprived of the ability to love, and betrayal is considered the norm here;
- empty beautiful chatter. Everyone tries to look smart, educated, speak meaningful speeches and show complacency, without possessing high spiritual qualities. Patrick talks about the need to protect the underprivileged, opposes racism, but immediately kills a defenseless homeless black man.
- narcissism, selfishness and lack of interest in others. Bateman constantly looks in the mirror. He loves himself so much that he cannot have a place in his heart for others. He receives the same attitude in return – his personality is also not interesting to any of his friends;
- alcohol, drugs and uncontrolled sex. The lack of true happiness in life leads to a desire for quick pleasure through drinking, taking drugs and constant intercourse with everyone;
- ignoring things that go beyond the generally accepted stereotypes. Several times during the film, the hero admits to friends and colleagues that he has manic tendencies. But no one even took the words seriously because of the status and position of the killer.
The film “American Psycho”, the meaning of which is to find salvation from the world of soullessness and indifference, is more like a life drama. The brutal murders that Bateman commits are a protest against the current situation in society and his own callousness. The protagonist wants to escape from the tangle of one-faced yuppies, somehow stand out, become different. However, even a crime is not a pretext to attract people’s attention.
It is interesting! In the final scene, the sign “This is not an exit” is emblazoned on the door, which brings to the surface the essence of the movie “American Psycho”.
Nobody believes Patrick, nobody takes his statements seriously. And a man cannot break out of the tightly woven yuppie networks.
What is the meaning of the ending
The thriller has an open ending. The viewer cannot say exactly what the meaning of the ending of the film “American Psycho” is. On the one hand, the lawyer makes it clear to Patrick that everything that happened is just the hero’s imagination, because Alena was seen in London. On the other hand, Paul could be confused with someone else, as is often the case with yuppies. Patrick’s final speech speaks more about the reality of events: “Punishment continues to elude me.”
The meaning of the ending of “American Psycho” remains unrevealed, because the director does not care if everything was real or not. Paramount is the feeling of hopelessness of the protagonist. He did not manage to change anything – and this is his tragedy. “All that’s left is pain.”
American Psycho is a thriller with meaning. Despite the cruelty of the scenes and the seeming senselessness of the crimes committed, the film raises the most important problems of public life. The main one is the discrepancy between the gloss of the representatives of the upper class and their inner emptiness and indifference.