American Psycho (film) Background

American Psycho (film) Background

American Psycho is a tragicomedy with elements of a thriller filmed by Mary Herron in 2000. It is based on the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. The film can be called a part of the golden era of American cinema, dating back to the '80s and '90s of the twentieth century. That is why even average paintings from that period are imbued with some exquisite grandeur, and American Psycho is no exception.

The main character, Patrick Bateman, has everything that a person can desire: a bride, good job, nice apartment, and rather impressive bank account. However, this is only one side of his life. The second is opened at night in the form of a bloody psychopathic maniac who hates society and everything connected with it.

The film puts in the center of the narrative the intrapersonal confrontation of Dorian Gray in modernity. Patrick Bateman seems to have two personalities. One loves good life and fame and appreciates fashion. And what to do if you want to remain an exquisite ingot, but animal rage boils in you? It is necessary to throw it out, but where and how? Here the second side of his personality is revealed—a cruel and at the same time elegant killer, not without a sense of humor. Patrick always felt a kind of split personality.

The message of the film is the following: all people wear masks. They hide their true faces, age, interests, beliefs, etc. and juggle them based on the current situation. This has become the norm for all modern lifestyles. Everyone performs their social roles, adjusting to them, finding a splash of their sincere feelings in something else, a renounced one. Patrick Bateman, being a homophobe and a racist, spoke a lot about protecting gay rights. He sympathized with the ideas of social equality, although he chose a homeless person as his first victim.

The very first scene of the film begins with drops of blood, dripping evenly against the background of the titles, thus giving the impression of a horror film. However, the next second we see how the same drops turn out to be ordinary cranberry juice and have nothing to do with rigidity. Through such a game of contrasts, the film is ironic in every way possible about stereotypes accepted in society.

The director's intention was to ridicule the culture of consumption, when external attributes are put on the first position among the basic values ​​of life. Even in the title American Psycho one can see this connection. The nationalist emphasis on the word “American” symbolizes the pinnacle of Western consumer culture, which the United States is rightly considered the stronghold of. The protagonist through his attempt to get out of such a depressing reality reveals a protest, trying to destroy the framework established in society and to go beyond it.

The film received generally positive reviews: Rotten Tomatoes rated it 67% based on 141 reviews from critics (with an average score of 6.2/10) and 82% of viewers with an average score of 3.6/5 (295,825 votes). In general, the film on the site has a positive rating. The film also won several awards, including the Special Jury Prize at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Screenplay at the British Independent Film Awards in 2001. Furthermore, Christian Bale was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and Chloë Sevigny for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.

American Psycho has achieved cult classic status and remains one of the most iconic films of the golden age of American cinema. It is considered to be a film that transcends its time and is still relevant today. The film has been compared to classic films such as Fight Club (1999) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) in terms of its success and status. The film has been praised for its unique blend of dark comedy, thriller, irony, and satire. It is often cited as an inspiration for modern films and television shows.

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