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American Psycho (2000)
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Review Date: April 10, 2000
Director: Mary Harron
Writer: Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner
Producers: E. Pressman, C. Hanley, C. Solomon
Actors:
Christian Bale
Willem Dafoe
Reese Witherspoon
Samantha Mathis
Chloe Sevigny
Jared Leto
Plot:
Patrick Bateman is a typical Wall Street yuppie who worries more about what brand of suit to wear in the morning, than he does about hurting anyone's feelings with his contemptuous attitude. Well...actually, there is one thing that does set him apart from the rest of his ilk...Patrick also has an uncontrollable desire to kill people. And did I mention that he loves 80s pop music?
Critique:
Sick. Funny. Horrific. Charming. Unsettling. A delight. A film that can have you laughing out loud one minute, and freezing up horribly the next. A definite original, one that should have people talking for some time to come, and most definitely not for everyone! I loved the humor in this film, I loved the many great lines in this film, I even loved the whole point of the film, about a time and place in our society in which people and material objects transcended one another and became one in the same. And with materialism, greed and objectification running rampant, what is a guy like Patrick Bateman to do? Well, he essentially does what everyone in that world was doing from day to day...hiding their secrets on the inside, while maintaining a mask of serenity on the outs. The only problem with Patrick is that his "secret" is just a little more damaging than that of anyone else. Yeesh...is it ever! But if there's one reason to see this movie, one reason that I would have to pick to see this movie again, and one reason why the casting of Leonardo DiCaprio just seems totally ludicrous right now (even though he is a great actor in his own right)...two words...Christian Bale.

I hope that this film will catapult this solid thespian to greater heights, cause he doesn't just play the role of Patrick Bateman in this movie...he becomes it! A wonderful caricature of an intelligent, charming, outgoing man teetering on the brink of insanity. His look, his clothes, his eyes, his smile, his sweat, his toned body...Christian conquers this character's sardonic manner, his abundant charisma and most definitely...his killer instinct. If it sounds like I'm in love with Mr. Bale, well, you may be right (not that there's anything wrong with that). Simply an awesome performance...nominate the guy for something, for God's sakes! Of course, the story itself really isn't a story as much it is a slice-of-life movie featuring one really bizarre character head-tripping through some very odd situations in his life. I enjoyed the performances, which were all blessed by a tongue and cheek, loved the directing, Harron showing the world that she is more than a one-trick pony, and in the end, I was simply entertained and excited by the entire film. I guess you can't really ask for more than that when seeing a movie, right?

Add to that the fact that the ending is kind of ambiguous (but in a good way), the powerhouse performance by Christian Bale and the many, many funny lines and over-the-top sexual situations, and this film is a complete success on its own terms. Of course, it also manages to offset much of that humor with a few pretty gruesome moments with respect to Patrick's dirty little secret, a task handled quite admirably, it must be said. And for all you poor saps who've apparently been robbed of a 10-second bit during one of the film's menage-a-trois sequences, well, let me just say from the perspective of someone who did see the missing snippet (I'm Canadian, eh!)...no big fuss, folks. Just a guy doggying a girl in front of a mirror. You gotta love that MPAA! "Harumph....no, no, no...we can't have this sexual position in the movie...it's disgraceful!! What...a decapitated head in the refrigerator? Oh, that's no problem...that could stay."

A very cool satire featuring one messed up dude portrayed splendidly by one awesome actor.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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