The publication of the novel did not initially prove sweet vindication for Ellis. In a group discussion with Charlie Rose, American Psycho's author admitted that the book is primarily a critique of male behavior — something director Mary Harron recognized from the get go. Marcus and I even go to the same barber." Turner mentions "the scene where he gets the two hookers to come over, and he's videotaping himself and looking at himself in the mirror" as one of the turning points in the film. All images property of their respective owners. Their biggest problems revolve around getting dinner reservations at Dorsia. The American Psycho ending has confounded viewers of the film for 20 years. "American Psycho" has strong acting from "Christain Bale" and "Willem Dafoe". “There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me. Meanwhile, back at Harry’s Bar where he’d told his lawyer Harold Carnes he’d be that afternoon, he and his colleagues are still arguing over where to get reservations for the evening. Featured on Meta Swag is coming back! The real question is whether or not he acts on his homicidal impulses outside of his head. The film adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho debuted in 2000. Apparently, even with a heavy dose of homicide, those settings are too boring. The term psychopath isn't a clinical diagnosis, Patrick Bateman never actually killed anyone, Bateman straight up stabs him in the chest, whether or not he really even is Patrick Bateman, Patrick Bateman actually killed Paul Allen, Carnes doesn't even know who Patrick Bateman is, Allen was mistakenly identified in London, In a group discussion of the film with journalist Charlie Rose, The film's screenwriter, Guinevere Turner, told. I guess I've killed maybe 20 people. "He's there," Turner says, "he's got the kitten, but the ATM doesn't actually say that. Played by Stephen Bogaert, Patrick Bateman's lawyer has been responsible for most of the confusion surrounding the ending the American Psycho — but don't let him fool you! In fact, they would work even if you were to use, say, Norman Bates, or even Kevin Wendall Crumb in place of Bateman. It is the late 1980s in New York city. In this competitive hierarchy, the novel's male characters jockey for status not only by constantly impugning each others' masculinity, but also by habitually disparaging women, gay men, people of color, and the homeless. The crass scene may very well have prevented American Psycho from becoming the cult classic it is today. He's losing his mind." As American Psycho continued its journey from novel to feature, ... and then it ends on the top of the World Trade Center,” Ellis explained. Now, while there's no way to be 100 percent certain that Bateman did murder people, there's a lot of evidence supporting the idea that he is, in fact, a serial killer. Their attention is firmly focused on acquiring material wealth, lording it over others, and snorting cocaine in club bathrooms. This one would state that Bateman was Bateman, and that he did commit some of those murders, firmly ruling out Allen’s, Christie’s and the ones towards the end, all remarkably being instances that sit on the subtle fine line dividing the “only marginally possible” and the “utterly ridiculous, something which just goes on to further the hypothesis of his psychopathy. Eventually his internal conflict becomes so troubling that he finds catharsis by murdering people. Before you might begin to draw any ideas from the comparison I just made, I will begin to quickly expand upon that. Needless to say, both of the films also deal with a repressed psyche and have climaxes that lead to the unmasking of that psyche. We also have an alternate theory, one that is more widely accepted among the loyal fandom. While initially appearing straightforward, the movie intentionally unravels at the end, making plenty of people wonder whether or not Patrick Bateman's murders even took place. But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis. That the only murders and acts of violent sadism that conspired were on the pages of Bateman’s diary, something that an unassuming Jean has to witness, might not be such an implausible theory after all. The answer seems to be he imagined some of them, and not others… I’ll try and explain my theory below. Cronenberg forbade Ellis from writing scenes set in restaurants or clubs. Repudiating the cult of the sharp-dressed modern-day #gentleman, Ellis explained “American Psycho is a book about becoming the man you feel you have to be, the man who is cool, slick, handsome, effortlessly moving through the world, modeling suits in Esquire, having babes on his arm. The bodies are gone, and contrary to his expectations of seeing the cops or the authorities down there, he finds a realtor tending to potential customers about the flat, who then confronts Bateman and tells him that a Paul Allen never lived here. He rambles, "I killed Bethany, my old girlfriend, with a nail gun." According to Detective Kimball, Allen was verified to have had dinner with Marcus Halberstram — i.e., the colleague Allen had unknowingly mistaken Bateman for the entire time. Harold Carnes knows far less about what's going on than you might think. "That's not Reed Robinson." He treads lightly when mentioning his fiancée, for example — and this is not a guy that generally cares about people's feelings. The hide, made of Valentino suits and Olivers’ glasses, strutting about in high rising offices proves to be so inconspicuous that in the world Bateman operated, anybody could be anybody. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. According to Psychology Today, most serial killers display a pattern in victimology, weapons, and modus operandi. A cat mysteriously appears right in front of him, who he intends to shoot, stopped only by an onlooking woman with Bateman ending up shooting her instead. American Psycho begins with a quote from Dante’s Inferno: “ Abandon all hope ye who enter here ” is graffitied across the side of a bank in blood-red paint. The film is a brutal satire about the material and the impact that comes along with its pursuit. With a lovely view of Central Park, Allen's apartment is known to be one of the most expensive properties in New York City. He calls her during one of his least lucid moments, so he definitely knows, on some level, that Jean is alive. Throughout the entirety of the movie, we see Christian Bale's character repeatedly called names other than Patrick Bateman by various individuals — leading some viewers to question whether or not he really even is Patrick Bateman. David Cronenberg occupied the director's chair before Mary Harron, but instead of hiring a scriptwriter, he asked Bret Easton Ellis to write the script. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there.”. Serial killers often begin their sprees with someone they know in the heat of the moment, but it's rare to go back-and-forth the way Bateman does. What's the deal with Allen's apartment, and why does Bateman's lawyer mistake him for someone else? Now stay with me, since I would want you to spot the oddity or absurdity in every line hereon, something that is so far removed from reality that it doesn’t make the slightest sense. He manifests a personality of Bateman: suave, stylish, and narcissistic, one that he uses as a face to unleash his murderous desires at night. © 2020 Cinemaholic Inc. All rights reserved. Some man, some old f***** with a dog. The real Halberstram, unsurprisingly, claimed he was not having dinner with Allen. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Regardless, the aggression, mood shift, and disarming wink that ends the episode are the first jarring clues that Bateman isn't as polished as he seems. Where ‘Fight Club’ relies on hardcore commentary from an outsider, ‘American Psycho’ takes the route of a resilient, silent kind of understated satire, often wrapped up as even comic moments in an otherwise dark film, from the insider point of view of someone who is … But c'mon man, you had one fatal flaw. He just acts out a little more. He also admits to partially eating people, which we see play out in one traumatizing scene. Even less open for debate is the first time we actually witness Bateman kill somebody. After misidentifying Bateman as "Davis" and claiming to have had dinner in London with Paul Allen, viewers are tricked into thinking that Bateman can't separate fantasy from reality. To sum it up, the idea overarching this is the refusal of the illusory, the materialistic and a recognition of the embrace of mundanity in the modern age, something that was our trade-off for said materialism. All I wanted was to be ambiguous in the way that the book was. The internet too is rife with explanations and theories, and after a brief mum period, even the makers came out with their own intentions. 11. Viewers of American Psycho can argue forever over whether or not all of the film's violence only takes place in Bateman's head. As a result, to date, there exists no singular definition or “meaning” per se of the ending, as I have said before. Set in the 80s, the banker conducts his life as a materialistic yuppie during the day, but when nightfall occurs, he becomes a killing machine who is after Huey Lewis. Most of his murders are premeditated, giving him the means to control how the kills go down. This paper provides an illustration of problems in making diagnosis based on a single film. Maybe 40!" There was someone else there, I cannot remember, maybe a model — she's dead too! Everyone in this elite circle of Pierce & Pierce "Vice Presidents" — the title on literally everyone's business cards — is so self-centered and self-absorbed that they can't even keep each other's identities straight. Is Christian Bale's character actually the serial killer he claims to be? American Psycho (2000) Plot. Read on. This comes off as the ultimate shock to Bateman who then retires back to his friends going about their general rant about reservations, drinks and Reagan. Patrick Bateman wore a face mask before it was cool. In fact, more than the acceptance, it is the drive to stand out from a superficial, homogenized society that drives most of the actions here, and you, sir, sit on a throne of lies if you claim that drive hasn’t gotten to you. As a literary offering, American Psycho found few defenders—most notably Norman Mailer, a man who had made a fine career courting controversy—but Roger Rosenblatt of the New York Times spoke for most critics when he called the book “the most loathsome offering of the season.” The Pierce & Pierce men's infatuation with trying to look the same causes the movie's many instances of mistaken identity, ultimately leading to Bateman getting away with murder. It is also certain that Bateman was a lowkey psychopath, hiding under the guise of an everyman, succumbing to the pressures of acceptance. Look closer at the deeper meaning and messages of American Psycho‘s (2000) ending. Like the Bret Easton Ellis book that it's based on, the ending of Mary Harron's American Psycho is rather ambiguous, and has been a source of debate amongst fans for a … According to literary critic Jeffrey W. Hunter, American Psycho is largely a critique of the "shallow and vicious aspects of capitalism". 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