Director: Mary Harron
Before Christian Bale rose to fame due to the blockbuster Nolan hit Batman, he had films here and there that are worth the mention of his career. This would be one of them. All I can say while watching the film was ‘So. Much. Blood.’ Told in a narrative form, it’s a story of Patrick Bateman’s life. You know, the good, the bad and the ugly.
While Christian Bale’s performance was not as terrifying as The Joker (Ledger) in The Dark Knight, his character is quite scary, and he portrayed Bateman well. You have a Wall Street guy with good credentials. However, people view him as spineless and boring, and what he does is he impersonates other people. He takes their name and when he meets certain figures, he meets them with his adoptive identity. He has a fiance and keeps an affair on the side. However, there is another side of Patrick Bateman, the gruelsome side. He loves to kill. He has homicidal tendencies practically all the time. He’s a sadist, really. The whole film is just about him being a psycho...and his extremes are completely relative. I mean steal someone’s identity, kill on a whim and keep records of such. His mental state varies during the day.
The way that it was told in a narrative form states that he is aware of his situation, and accepts it as his way in life. From where the film begins, his life’s order is laid out to everyone. His methods, his beliefs, everything. He lived a pretentious life, where everyone liked him. He had common thoughts with people, getting ahead, getting along with his colleagues. He is a big-shot, one can say.
Another thing about the film is I like how there’s a contrast between the plot and the cinematography. Despite having a dark plot, the film was shot in incredibly lit places. Usually, films like these have a toned-down light setting, but American Psycho...even the darkness was well-lit. Even the night scenes were mostly well-lit. Even the blood comes in bright red, solid color. I guess, if putting some symbolism to it (side note: my high school teacher loved symbolism, and we’d be racking our brains with symbols that have to do with the subject before the exam), it’s the contrast of his facade and what goes inside his mind. Outside, he’s some yuppie, but his movements suggest otherwise.
If you’re expecting some fast paced-murder film, this is not it. What it does is it implants us to the mind of a mentally deranged person who acts like any of us. Bale gives a great performance, execution was good as well. I haven’t read the novel (nor am I planning to but I expect it to be as much of a thriller like the film). It’s a good film, all in all. Put this on your watch list filed under crime and Bale, Christian.