What is the meaning of the ending of the movie “American Psycho”?

The film is an interesting combination of diametrically opposed genres and issues. This is a comedy (if we consider what is happening as a satire) story about the meaningless life of the so-called Yankees, and a deeply psychological film that raises acute social problems, and horrors filled with senseless violence, sex scenes and murders.

The protagonist of the film, Patrick Bateman, is a Yankee. He runs a big company, goes to restaurants with rich people like him and competes with them in success. It would seem an ideal life, but Patrick feels the acute meaninglessness and worthlessness of his own existence. Bateman admits to himself and to the viewer that he no longer feels anything, no matter how hard he tries. All his surroundings are the same. The same expensive suits, faces, business cards – all this creates a feeling of erasing personality. Patrick reacts to this very painfully and tries to get a taste of life through violence. The further he goes, the more and more he realizes that he is losing his mind.

The end of the story leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Let’s consider several options:

1. Patrick didn’t kill anyone. All the murders shown were the fruit of his imagination. This is evidenced by the fact that his victims are alive, that no one paid attention to the noise of the chainsaw and the traces of blood under the sleeping bag. This option is also supported by the fact that everyone around Patrick’s confessions are treated without much attention, and he himself depicts the murders committed as if he simply uses this to pour out the accumulated stress associated with both the denial of his own worthlessness and the lack of understanding with side of the surroundings. This internal and external emptiness of the hero pushes him into a form of protest that he cannot express, because he is too accustomed to conforming to the standards of a society that seems to him as empty as himself.

He tries to find something new for himself in music, rough sex and murder. Fantasies drive Bateman to extreme levels of insanity, and he realizes this only at the very end of the film, after the absurd situation with the ATM and the shootout on the street. He would like other Yankees to experience this suffocating feeling, too, to feel their conflict keenly and bring themselves to such a state.

2. Some of the murders committed were real. This is evidenced by the bloody sheet that the hero brings to the laundry room at the very beginning of the film, the sudden murder of a tramp with a dog, the murder of one of his entourage members, Paul. Why is this murder real? This is hinted at by the fact that all businessmen were so similar to each other that they did not remember their appearance and names, they confused one man with another. So the investigator was convinced that Paul met another man in the restaurant, although it was Patrick. Society does not pay attention to the fact that someone is missing.

No one cares about tramps, prostitutes and secretaries, so only the disappearance of a rich man (and then only briefly) attracts attention, and all Patrick’s desperate confessions that he is a maniac are ignored, because no one cares about anything not related to maintenance their status. During the entire duration of the film, none of the characters work for real. Everyone either drinks, or walks, or draws or listens to music. Under such conditions, realizing that desperate attempts to distinguish themselves from others lead to nothing, Bateman decides to choose another way to distinguish himself from the crowd – to give free rein to his inner demons, to start killing in order to at least feel something. When he calls his lawyer, he worries more about his status than about the atrocities he has committed.

Most likely, the absurdity of the latest murders is due to the fact that some of them were actually committed by Patrick, and the rest in his fantasy. The first blood gave rise to a frightening thirst in him, which he tried in vain to suppress. And the fact that society remains blind to a bloodthirsty monster, just because he is rich, comes to the point of absurdity.

So, you can interpret the ending in different ways, but the essence remains the same: Patrick turned out to be closed in self-pity and awareness of his own worthlessness due to the fact that he was no different from others.

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