Review: American Psycho (2000 film)

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American Psycho (2000) is a psychological thriller that follows the life of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy investment banker in New York City during the late 1980s. Bateman’s obsession with materialism and status symbols is portrayed through his fixation with his physical appearance, possessions, and the people around him. The film critiques the shallow and empty values of consumerist culture prevalent in the 80s and delves into the dangers of being consumed by the desire for wealth and material possessions.

In addition to his materialistic obsessions, Bateman’s character is also highlighted through his unique analysis of music, as he spouts like a music critic analysing the complexities and deep meanings in songs by Phil Collins and Whitney Houston!

Bateman’s fixation on material possessions and lack of emotional connection with others lead him to treat sex selfishly and without any emotional connection. He doesn’t mind taking his sexual fantasies out on street prostitutes or “high-class” call girls. He believes that his fiancée Evelyn Williams (Reese Witherspoon) is probably having an affair, which, in his mind, justifies his sleeping with her drugged-up best friend, Courtney (Samantha Mathis).

While the film is a chilling and thought-provoking critique of the dangers of materialism, there is also something perversely funny about it. However, just when one becomes comfortable with the notion that the “Psycho” of the title refers only to a rich weirdo, Bateman shocks us with his brutal acts. The film serves as a stark reminder that true happiness and fulfilment come from connections with others and a sense of purpose beyond the accumulation of wealth and material possessions.

Reviewed by Pat Harrington

Mary Harron
Bret Easton Ellis, Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner
Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas
Runtime: 1h 42m

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