Projections - Movie Reviews

American Psycho American Psycho

A new monster comes to the screen amid controversy.  Mary Harron's translation of Bret Easton Ellis' much talked about, repelled book set in the years of Reaganomics.

Moral vacuity and gross consumption appears to be skinned down from the little read tome even as the aptly named Patrick Bateman, a yuppish Norman Bates, played by Christian Bale instead of Leonard DiCaprio who was unavailable, indulges himself as he pleases.

Thus, the low budgeted American Psycho comes to the table with enough blood, killing and misogyny to draw an audience even without DiCaprio.  A beginning soliloquy details Patrick's leanness as a carnal obsession to rid fat accompanies videos of rape or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The upper west side inside trader bleeds money for his coke habit, but isn't materialistic, as Harron plays a sometimes excessively odd variation on the Fight Club as product identification and limited understanding work off of consumption.

At times, it's difficult to appreciate exactly what Harron and Bale are going for as scenes are sometimes bizarre and startling.  Exaggeration is exemplified as a prostitute (Cara Seymour) involuntarily gets sexually involved with a drunk debutante and a chainsaw ushers a dark giddiness to a crazy sequence.

The story has a taut format that highlights its wide screen shots lucidly grabbing the Manhattan backdrops and insinuating a baroque coldness to its mostly off white interiors.

Maybe American Psycho is less harrowing as Bale's performance becomes untethered,  but even as silly as his part gets, particularly in a lampoonish dance, he surprisingly almost gives his cipher a humanity.

An ominous score adds to a smooth but strange hyperbolic thriller.

American Psycho

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