After seeing this movie about a dozen times in the now almost 20 years since the movie came out, and reading the book somewhere in between, I love this movie for being able to be interpreted multiple ways. The most obvious way is that he is a serial killer but gets away with it.
Another interpretation that really popped during this most recent viewing was that it was all in his head... All of the scenes that make him out to be such a sociopath are over the top because they never happened (except in his head). He's a mentally ill, socially awkward guy who dreamed up the personality we see on the movie as his escape from his depressing reality. He is doing everything he can in an attempt to be mentally healthy; he works, takes care of himself physically, but he has no real relationships because he can't help it. He didn't kill any women, he unintentionally chases them away to the point even prostitutes don't want to be around him. Rather than have all those scarring memories as his crippling reality, he chooses to remember the people he chases away as victims of a smooth talking serial killer who we, the audience, can see is disconnected but he only appears disconnected because we're viewing him through a mentally ill person's perception of their own fantasy.
When he tells the bartender "I want to stab you to death, and play around with your blood.", that's just the reply he wishes he said but didn't. His breakdown at the end of the movie is his real cry for help because, in an attempt to live a "normal" life, he's been hiding symptoms of his illness too successfully for his own good and he's losing touch because of an illness he can't control. The drawings his secretary finds are real but aren't evidence of murder, they're just an example of his obsession with finding a girl to have a meaningful relationship with that he morphed into a Patrick Bateman that doodles these fantasy women as murder victims. The secretary of course will be further chased away by this, as has happened with everyone else he attempts to have a personal relationship with.
I can't believe I put off seeing this movie for so long since I am a fan of Christian Bale. This movie is an amazing satire of 1980's excess. For those saying it was strange, hard to follow or had no plot - that is the point!! The narrator of the story is a psychopath. It is a scary trip into his mind and into the "me generation" of the 80s. Great, great movie.
As a fan of Reese Witherspoon, and having seen most of her movies, I'm glad to have finally seen this movie upon learning she acts in it. Christian Bale is the serial killer and main character. His acting was so over the top at times his manner resembled the joker from the Batman series. But it's surreal just how deftly his character -a Manhattan investment banker- used intimidation alternated with niceness and deflection to get his way. He kills numerous victims based on his view that they are losers--prostitutes, homeless, pets, the vulnerable and weak-- each time they are completely unaware he is a serial killer until it is too late. The one character who thought Bateman was a menace still went to his place because she needed the money. Very sad. While glad to have caught this classic, doubtful I would want to stomach seeing American Psycho again.
One of my all time favorite movies. There's a lot to catch in this flick. I've probably seen this movie 30+ times, and I still catch little things here and there. My favorite thing about American Psycho is the fact that you're not sure what's real and what's not. There are a lot of different ways to perceive what's going on in the film, which I won't spoil, and this is what makes the movie a classic in my house.
"There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. 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."
This movie is a little powerhouse manned by Christian Bale as the craziest guy in town, who we never know if he is a murderer, a lunatic, a liar or everything combined. The movie has gore, sex scenes and plenty of intensity to make you wonder what is going on, it can be campy at times though. If you can stomach all that it's worth watching because Christian Bale is incredibly hot.
Christian Bale carries this movie. It is riveting. Sometimes difficult to watch. Stay with it. You will not forget this movie. It is a wonderful example of theater craft; both from the acting, writing, and delivery. As I say, some scenes can be offensive...don't judge this movie by those scenes. Mr. Bale is just an awesome actor and has shown us that since "Empire of the Sun, " when he was 12 years old! Enjoy!