By Debbie Elicksen.
Christian Bale is perfectly cast in American Psycho (2000), written and directed by Mary Harron (also written with Guinevere Turner). The screenplay was adapted from the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe, Chloë Sevigny, and Samantha Mathis also star in the film.
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Bale is the obsessive compulsive materialistic investment banker Patrick Bateman. He is the textbook psychopath: charming, controlling, and without remorse. After the workday, when he is not dating his girlfriend Evelyn Williams (Reese Witherspoon), his alter-ego hunts and kills the vulnerable and anyone else who may have set him off, like a co-worker who one-upped him somehow by having a nicer business card.
Batemen actually tells people up front who he is — a killer — but they either don’t believe him or they are not really listening. When he rampages near the end, you’re not sure if it really happened or if it was a fantasy.
This is one of my favorite films. It might be a stretch to call it a dark comedy, although there is an underlying humor to the horror plot. I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen it, but it’s definitely good for three and a half stars out of five. Plus it doesn’t hurt to see Christian Bale running around naked a lot.
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