Film review: American Psycho
- By: Alisdair McNeill
American Pscyho is a dark comedy focusing on the life of mass murdering yuppie Patrick Bateman. The film's central theme is the conflict between individuality and the demands of society. Bateman's yuppie lifestyle requires absolute conformity. Appearance is all important; the right suit and shoes make or break an individual. To ensure acceptance Bateman's social group all dress alike. Thus clothes become uniform, preventing expressions of individuality and denying Bateman an identity as he is frequently mistaken for other businessmen.
In Bateman's world communication is almost impossible. The yuppies spend their evenings in noisy bars and clubs - killing conversation. Bateman's social group is stupefied by valium, halcion, cocaine, and champagne. What Bateman says is thus often misinterpreted, leaving him cut off from meaningful contact.
Against this tide of isolationist conform. ity Bateman becomes dehumanized - “there is an idea of Patrick Bateman but no real me” - and stifled.