Sunday, November 8, 2009

#435: American Psycho (2000)

Director: Mary Harron
Cast: Christian Bale, ...

Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street investor who seemingly does nothing during the work day but has an incredible, expensive social life, has a dark secret. Beneath his exterior that he so devotedly polishes every day, he is a madman. Beginning with his imagination running wild, berating workers in the service industry in his mind, his control slackens over time, developing his character into a serial killer.

This film is just too easy to compare to In the Company of Men. Douchebag Wall Street-types are creating a genre of their very own, which is a bit terrifying. The misogynistic persona demonstrated by almost every male character in the film, however, was an addition by director Mary Harron. In the 1991 novel, though the characters did have an engorged ego, the book was much more centered on blood lust than sexism.

This was Christian Bales first stand-out role... and possibly his last. He managed to capture both the yuppie-type, the misogynistic bastard, and the serial killer all in one character, and that's certainly not a skill many can master. It's too bad today he's both an only-okay actor with a history of being a big jerk-face.

The first half of this film completely disinterested me, I have to admit. It wasn't really until the twist begins to emerge that I really began to like where things were going. I would have liked a bit more back story. I mean, where did this guys tendencies come from? How did he get so far in life by being so nuts? Of course, it could be explained by the constant belief that he's joking when he discusses his bloody escapades, on top of constant misconceptions that keep arising... but it seems a bit out of the blue.

Still, an interesting, creepy flick. And apparently funny, too - but I know I'm not the only one that took the humor to just make it creepier.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
  • In the DVD commentary, Mary Harron says that during the first shower scene with Patrick Bateman, all of the women on set gathered around to watch Christian Bale wash himself.
  • All of the business cards read "Vice President".
  • In each scene with Detective Donald Kimble (Willem Defoe), Mary Harron asked Defoe to portray his character three different ways: 1) Kimble knew Patrick Bateman killed Paul Allen, 2) Kimble didn't know Bateman killed Allen, and 3) Kimble wasn't sure if Bateman killed Allen. Harron would then edit the takes together, giving the audience an unsure vibe of what Detective Kimble thought of Bateman.

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