The late 90s were really a time where cinema was hard railing against consumerism. A great example of this is Fight Club, which tackled the idea so well. While it may not reach the same level of impact as Fight Club, American Psycho is also a great example of this as well. This is a very well written and brilliantly directed character study of a man on the verge of insanity, while also delivering a staire on the self-obssessed, wealthy culture of the 80s.
Based on the novel of the same name, American Psycho revolves a wealthy, narcissistic and self-obssessed New York investment banking executive called Patrick Bateman, who lives in the stereotypical yuppie generation of 80’s and hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous imaginaries.
Like I said, the film is a social satire about the yuppie culture of the 80s and throughout the film, we see that people have no individuality of their own and are forced to dress, look and act exactly the same and measure themeslves only by their appearances and materialistic possessions, as consumerism has consumed people’s minds, to the point Patrick Bateman is confused for someone else. It also manage to combine the elements of horror, comedy and thriller to do so.
The production values are top-notch, as the set design perfectly captures the film’s 80s setting and the costume design manages to match the yuppie lifestyle. The cinematography is beautiful to look at and the pacing manages to keep the tension higher. Mary Harron does a fantastic job in presenting into the yuppie lifestyle and delving deeper into Patrick Bateman’s mind. Lastly, the soundtrack is impressive and it cleverly ties to the events of the movie.
The performances of the cast is terrific and everyone does a good job, but the most impressive performance of the film is Christian Bale. Bale takes his perfomance to another level and truly convinces as a man who is on the verge of going insane and mocking the culture that he’s a part of. He is very charismatic and the movie lives up to his performance. The ending, which I won’t spoil, is very well done, as it leaves wondering if Patrick was actually doing these things or was it his imagination.
The only problems I have is Justin Theorix and Resse Witherspoon’s performances, as I found them to be the weakest part of the film. Still, it’s easy to see why this film is still beloved after all these years. American Psycho is brilliant, dark satire of the self-obessessed, wealthy yuppie generation while delivering a character study of a man on the verge of insanity and mocking the culture he’s in. Do not miss it.