WORDS ON FILM
BY NOLAN LAMPSON
There's so much humor in AMERICAN PSYCHO that watching the axe-wielding, prostitute enthusiast Patrick Bateman is not as horrible an experience as would seem. Christian Bale is killing it now in the industry and was killing it (in a literal sense for this film) in the beginning of the 21st century. No one can question him in this film; one wrong move or one better business card can (and will) likely lead to a murder. This film relates to the recent NIGHTCRAWLER (along with A Clockwork Orange, The Usual Suspects, Taxi Driver) in a sense that the main character is a villain; thus forcing the audience to relate and care about them. We would never think of sympathizing with extremely narcissistic and malicious Bateman, but Bale's performance and Turner/Harron's screenplay do a very good job at this. Now, this film is great. Really, really great. Maybe my favorite of 2000. Bale's performance is truly once-in-a-generation, oscar-worthy, and the film perfectly surrounds him. The film to me is really about the type of egotistical, greedy person that Bale is. There are people in the world like this walking among us, and the murders are just an extremity added to this. This is a film that explores this very well, and adds suspense and sharp hilarity to it. I only have one flaw with this film, and that is: for a time in the film, he does the same things. There's no deviation in his behavior. Besides this fact that is really only in about ten to fifteen minutes in the film, the movie is solid. A woman director is significant and great--she doesn't oversell the madness of Bateman like a male might. She handles her magnum opus with sweet, precious care and her characters, portrayed by great actors across the board. The film uses classical music with flair and originality--this is polar opposite music to what Bateman's lifestyle follows and what he himself listens to. (Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?) The editing is great; quick, sharp, and always ready for a change in story or focus. But the main significance of the film is its originality.
We've never seen anything truly like this (we've seen aspects relating to other cinematic pieces but not a narrative that compares closely to this film). This is a really good adaptation from Ellis' novel (which is a personal favorite) and a whirlwind of originality, wit, suspense, greed, and above all, classic cult filmmaking. AMERICAN PSYCHO is a true triumph to modern film.
STORY AND SCRIPT- 19/20
OVERALL: 95/100 (A)
comments on the screen by nolan lampson.