Although I saw American Psycho a few years ago, I recently re-watched it and appreciate Christian Bale’s impeccable and psychotic role as Patrick Bateman even more. Surprisingly, this movie reminded me of Mommie Dearest, a biographical drama film I watched for the first time last week. Mommie Dearest provides an inside look at the life of actress Joan Crawford and reveals her over-controlling characteristics, which induces her tendency to abuse her adopted children. Joan strives to be the most beautiful, talented, and famous actress. Appearance is everything; her routine consists of waking up at 4am, scrubbing her face and arms with soap and boiling water, and soaking her face in a bowl of rubbing alcohol and ice (to diminish her pores).
In American Psycho, appearance too is Bateman’s number one priority. If he looks and acts like a wealthy businessman, people will believe it. In both these films, appearances are deceiving, the characters have constructed a façade in order to hide the truth and protect their “glorified” ego.
I loved watching Bateman’s switch from a normal, composed, and wealthy man to a terrifying, blood-thirsty, and psychotic serial killer. Living in two different worlds brings both these characters to such an extreme climax.
I enjoy films that show the truth behind closed doors, whether that be the life of a serial killer or of a self-obsessed actress. These films provide insight regarding the intense routines and ridiculous lifestyles people follow in order to exceed such high standards.
– Ziba Klein