American Psycho

American Psycho ★★★★★

I’m trying to listen to the new Robert Palmer tape but Evelyn my supposed fiance keeps buzzing in my ear.

 I like to dissect girls. Did you know I'm utterly insane?

You’re a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood.

I have to return some video tapes.

Oh my god. It even has a watermark.

Try getting a reservation at dorsia now you fucking stupid bastard!

Stop sounding so fucking sad, jesus! 

Been a few years since I’ve seen this and yes it’s still an incredible film, inspired by Hitchcock’s Psycho character Norman Bates, comes Bret Ellis’s 1991 Novel American Psycho and from Mary Harron who delivers a iconic, vicious, satire American Psycho, which is the best disturbing character study in film since A Clockwork Orange and Taxi Driver. 

From the opening white screen with blood dropping (Dexter definitely took inspiration, another psycho serial killer with a first person narration that I love)
The font of the title cards and colour black on white background was nice, then the white credit font I liked how it was playing in front of the characters in the first scene too. Most normal films would of played those credits on a boring background before the first scene starts. The self care scene is forever iconic. 

There’s something special about this being set in 1987, set on Wall Street focusing on the wealth, greed and gluttony of it all. The script is incredible already, yet Bale takes it to new heights completely. And the physique he gained for the role too. The 80s soundtrack really adds to the film and Bateman’s insanity plus Christian Bale’s powerhouse subtle, erratic performance. His american accent, his soft tone voice on every delivery of dialogue, the way he can go from calm to angry to psycho in 0.2 seconds all with his eyes. He‘s the type of actor who could give the same exact performance with no dialogue it’s that good. The range he has in this film, the phone call scene Bale is sobbing, traumatised and then straight up cackling.  Every scene with the voice over adds a whole another level to the film, Bale perfectly using his eyes and smile to tell you whatever he's thinking. I find this film extremely therapeutic and hilarious, some scenes I shouldn’t be laughing but I do. Bale went from Shaft to this. Talking of range, Willem Dafoe went from Detective Donald Kimball to Norman Osborn. For the few scenes he’s in, I thought Dafoe was great and played the calm friendliness and ambiguity of this character very well, Reece Witherspoon and Jared Leto I thought were both good in the scenes they had (this is one of the only films I like Leto acting in) I still can’t believe in a perfect world we have Christian Bale, Patrick Bateman who is also eccentric billionaire Bruce Wayne.

I’ve not even mentioned the film making aspect yet! There are some perfect shots in this, the camera zooming in on Bateman’s reflection in the Les Mis poster, the close up of him wearing sunglasses in each lenses which is a POV shot, in the club the colours on each of Batemans face, the silhouette in his dressing room, they were some of my personal favourites. There’s a huge variety of camera angles and work, camera placement in the apartment, the tracking shots, the close ups are used perfectly and not too much to oversaturate the meaning, there’s a lot of mid shots as well which made me feel as if I was in the room with the characters, great camera placement on that. In several apartment scenes with Bateman and another character, the camera is always placed behind the sofa and in front of it, great view and smart framing of the entire apartment scenes, I liked this a lot. I never noticed the Les Mis poster in his apartment before and that he mentions he has a matinee of Les Mis, his apartment really does tell you a lot about him, plain white walls, only a handful of frames and posters, all of his furniture is identical and simple, lots of open space for his exercise. (Great work by the set design and props people) It doesn’t feel anything like him, it looks like he’s trying to fit in with a white, black and grey aesthetic apartment, the only part that does feel like him is his music collection and speakers set. 

Bateman has it all, money, body, looks, high paying job, he’s an athlete yet he still wants to fit in. Bateman’s obsession of fitting in causes him to be invisible with his business card, oliver people glasses, valentino suits, coats, having reservations at restaurants,  this causes him to be so misrecognized. 

Full of detail which can be watched and enjoyed more on multiple watches, the amount of detail and ambiguity this film has, which has created the theories of: did he kill everyone? Did he kill that many people? Is his kill count that high or is it lower? Is he really Patrick Bateman and not someone else? Did he kill the homeless person and dog or was it all in his head? Which kills were fantasied and which where real? Was the whole thing a dream? 

The film ends on Bale’s face with the camera referencing a Kubrick stare and then ending after zooming in on his eyes. With a sign on a door in the background reading “This is not an exit.” I look forward to my next viewing. One of a kind, what a picture. 

My confession has meant nothing.

Fun fact: Bale was told by many this role would be career suicide lmaoooooo

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