American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho has been on my to-watch list for the longest time. I was reminded of it again when I saw Margot Robbie’s parody of the film’s opening scene, for Vogue. After watching the clip I knew that if a dude (or anyone for that matter) had such a ridiculous morning routine, he’s probably crazy. Fascinating and intriguing, but nonetheless crazy. Plus it’s Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman! Just like how I have faith in Christopher Nolan, I also have faith in Christian Bale.

I expected violence in this movie. What I wasn’t prepared for was the exhaustive list of atrocities from start to end. You wouldn’t want to watch this on a first date, nor over a meal. I had to pause several scenes, and then proceed to mute it until it was safe to turn the volume back up again. I’m generally okay with violence, but sexual violence makes me very uncomfortable. Add the (very) strong misogynistic and narcissistic themes to that, I nearly threw up. It was disgusting. But again, very fascinating.

American Psycho is a 100 minute piss-take on the self-indulgent society we live in. People are so obsessed with themselves they don’t listen to anyone anymore. Maybe the only time they listen is when they’re taking turns to show off something they own. Can’t believe the novel was written in 1991! It has been 26 years since then and society is still the same, if not worse. I’m so sick of the world I live in, all the pretentious conversations I have to sit through, pretending like I give a damn when my friends choose to play spot-the-difference between their iphones during dinner. I couldn’t help but think of the similarities when I saw the business card scenes in American Psycho. Same shitty people, just different shit.

Which is why, as much as I hated the sexual violence that was persistent throughout the film, I would always remember the scenes that I could really relate to. It’s nice to know there are people out there who think differently, it’s just a shame the majority of Singapore’s society is still the same. While I wouldn’t rewatch the film in one sitting, I would surely be watching clips of my favourite scenes over and over again on youtube.

I recommend watching this film, I believe it lives up to its hype. There is a lot of debate about the film’s ambiguous ending. While I could be tempted to take a stand, I think the whole point of the film is its take on the repulsive self-obsession we see all around us. And that is what I would prefer to focus on whenever I think about American Psycho.

More Information

Trailer: Contains spoilers
Rating: R21 (violence, sex, gore, vulgarities)
Enjoyable: No
Good Film: Yes