The plot of the film “American Psycho” is based on the events described in the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis, which acquired notoriety in its time. Successful businessman Patrick Bateman is a classic yuppie. He wears an expensive suit, keeps his body clean with a maniacal predilection, lives in a posh apartment in Manhattan, and can afford whatever he wants. During the day he is calm, polite and friendly, and at night he is tormented by demons. At night, Patrick is transformed beyond recognition. One day, obeying an emotional impulse, he kills a homeless man, whom he sincerely wanted to help a second before. So the protagonist launches a monstrous death mechanism and becomes a killing machine. No one knows about the protagonist’s secret addiction: neither his fiancee nor his friends. And it is hardly possible to call those men whom Patrick meets in the elite institutions of the city to exchange a couple of meaningless words with friends.
When the viewer sees the first scene of brutal violence, a bunch of questions naturally pop up in their minds. What is the meaning of the movie “American Psycho”? Let’s try to figure out the answer. Christian Bale’s character is generally very provocative. He captivates with his external attractiveness and courtesy. Patrick is not averse to showing off his mind in a sorority. Ladies are delighted with each of his remarks: as soon as this luxurious bachelor says even a word, all women immediately imbue him with warmth and trust. But none of them knows who is really in front of her. A respectable yuppie is a socially dangerous sociopath. He hates women, and someone else’s success gives rise to rage in him. Patrick is limited by the consumer society and lives in the eternal pursuit of material goods. When the protagonist meets a person more successful than himself, he has a single desire – to destroy the enemy. If you can’t outshine other people’s achievements with your own, there is only one way out. And that way out is murder.
Meaning of American Psycho movie
There is an opinion that the meaning of the film “American Psycho” lies in the grotesque display of American society and its dualistic nature. Vain Patrick, suffering from hatred for all living things, at the same time suffers from self-hatred. He takes care of the health and beauty of his own body with incredible pedantry. But this does not prevent him from having sex with prostitutes in dirty alleyways, sniffing coke in public toilets and tasting human flesh.
Patrick takes sadistic pleasure in his crimes. He is not just a killer, he is a sophisticated rapist, a necrophile and a cannibal. He commits all his crimes in obedience to inner impulses. Patrick does not choose victims in advance, he does not hatch plans for the murder. He doesn’t even care too much about the conspiracy: incriminating videos are kept in his Manhattan apartment. In addition, the main character often makes explicit hints to his friends that he likes to dismember women. But “friends” are not too interested. In the movie “American Psycho”, as in the novel, few people are interested in someone else’s life, since everyone is passionate about the pursuit of material wealth. In this regard, the scene with business cards is very revealing. When one of Bateman’s colleagues orders an elegant business card with a unique font, each of those present is secretly angry and envious. And the very next day, a new masterpiece of graphic design appears in the office. History repeats itself day after day.
The protagonist certainly understands that something is wrong with him. The level of Patrick’s aggression goes off scale: he kills not only people who are useless in his opinion like homeless people, prostitutes and homosexuals, but also people from his own environment. Bateman chopped his colleague to pieces, but this did not bring him moral satisfaction. In addition, an experienced detective begins to shadow Patrick, casting doubt on the protagonist’s alibi. The more murders Bateman commits, the more absurd the visuals of the picture become. In the finale, it is almost impossible to distinguish reality from fantasy, because Patrick’s brain constantly throws up some surprises. The main character begins to disintegrate.
So what is the point of the movie “American Psycho”? Without a doubt, this is a satire on the moral degradation of businessmen in the 80s. Every character in the film is similar to the other, despite the fact that they all try to be unique. For this reason, the main character Christina Bale is constantly confused with a colleague. Exaggerated moral unscrupulousness, absolute coldness towards each other, preoccupation with status is manifested in everything. Bateman goes to work to maintain his image, denounces racial discrimination in public, but at the same time he hates representatives of other races. The monstrous duplicity of all the characters is an allegory of the “plastic” 80s.
The meaning of the ending of the movie American Psycho
Director Mary Harron changed the ending of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel. She made it open. At the end of American Psycho, Harron questions the reality of the monstrous events taking place. Bateman is surprised to learn that he didn’t kill anyone. And in the book, the devastated protagonist simply does not know how to live on, because even violence ceases to bring pleasure.
The idea that material possessions are just an illusion is far from new. But the way in which this idea is presented in the film “American Psycho” causes delight and admiration for the work of the creative team.
Write in the comments your meaning of the movie American Psycho. We look forward to waiting!