last night a couple friends and i watched the movie american psycho again, probably the fourth or fifth time i’ve seen it. the only problem was at the end, everyone had diffferent ideas of what the ending was about and what the ending was really supposed to be. for those of you who have seen the movie, what is the real ending/meaning supposed to be?
Psst, ata66, this should be in cafe society. Next time we break your legs!
As to your question, I’m not sure I even remember the ending. Can somebody refresh my memory?
When this gets moved, and it will, can we put a Spoiler tag in the title? I’m halfway through with the book and even though I’m probably going to read the thread anyway, it would be nice for others. On that note, I can’t seem to be able to finish the book. Its not that its horrible, its just so odd with all the references to what everybody is wearing and the fact that everybody always calls him different names. I’m halfway through but I dont think I’m going to be able to finish it, I’ve got so much other good stuff to read ( I just got a bunch of Mark Twain and the rest of my Stienbeck collection from Amazon) that I never have the desire to pick it up.
Well, I just watched it this weekend, and it has been puzzling me for a while. Here’s my take on it.
Obviously, the guy didn’t actually kill Paul Allen: his lawyer visited with Paul Allen in London after the anti-hero supposedly killed him. I believe this, along with the empty apartment (where he though he had numerous bodies), demonstrates that all of the killings were imagined. So I believe what we the viewers watched was the anti-hero’s descent into madness. I would say the guy was suffering from paranoia, with serious delusions of grandeur, manifested in detailed hallucinations (or involved fantasies). Perhaps a possible case of schizophrenia, though I don’t know enough to actually diagnose him.
The movie’s theme, however, seems to be easier to understand. It was a pretty blatant commentary on how materialism is not a solid foundation to build a life on. YMMV, and IANAP or MC (psychologist or movie critic :))
Hey! I just saw this last week. (Well, the end of it. I think it was on Showcase. But I’ve seen it before). But anyone reading this question about the “real ending” expecting no spoilers is just silly so:
It seems likely he didn’t kill anyone. No evidence, and that detective throwing him a few softball questions over expensive lunches was hilarious. (I also love the way he starts to sweat and loses his hair styling as he gets more and more nervous. Ha!)
OTOH, while him and his friends drop names every other sentence, they can barely remember each others, as they aren’t important except as people to one-up. (ie, their business cards, where they can get reservations, etc). So when his lawyer says he visited Paul Allen, are you really sure he did?
Like LtBug, I liked the whole movie for the outrageous materialism. Everyone’s after the best suit, restaurant, stereo, drugs, while as people they’re all annoying shallow jerks. Even his girlfriend refuses to break up with him, saying that “it just wouldn’t work”.
I found this review, where the writer opines that in the end, Bateman doesn’t redeem himself. It’s the total opposite of a happy ending - he, like those around him, are just more and more self-involved.
I heard that a professor at Brandeis has his students watch and evaluated/diagnose the character for extra credits. It can go both ways: That he either did kill or he imagined it all. How people forget names, the lawyer could have met anybody in London…But the wrench in the gears is when he goes back to the apartment and the bodies are gone, things were painted over and the woman seems like she knew what he did but didn’t care because she can raise the rent and give it to the new people (materialism and money were a major point in the film).
P.s. Watch Rosemary’s Baby VERY CLOSELY and see if her kid really is the anti-christ or…
It has been a while since I read it, but IIRC the book is a lot more vague than the film regarding what really happened, leaving things a lot more open to the reader. I remember beign disappointed with the film because of this - it seemed to explain too much.
I don’t think there is any real question as to whether Bateman actually committed the murders, although there is a thread here that discusses it:
“This is Not an Exit” - the American Psycho unofficial book site
IMHO, The coincidences which conspire to protect the secret of his crimes are just a part and parcel of the strong vein of satire running through the book/movie. Granted, you will have to suspend disbelief in order to accept a few of the homicides that he gets away with (dragging dead bodies through his hotel lobby etc), but this is a novel not a documentary. This guy is moneyed, privileged and insane, and gosh darnit - people like him…so we can allow some leeway in what he manages to get away with.
I don’t recall Mary Harron the director and writer of the screenplay, or Christian Bale for that matter, ever hinting that the character Bateman is delusional and had imagined the killing spree. He is a monster (or “stylized villain” in BEE’s own words). I agree that there does come a point where Bateman begins to question his own vacuous identity and loses his grip on reality, but this is at the end of the book near the nadir of his psychotic spiral. Before then we have to assume that he was not merely imagining everything that went on, otherwise we are left with a pretty bland psychological ‘drama’.
As others have noted above, a recurring theme of the book is that the characters are so self-centered that they constantly misidentify and misunderstand one another,
To my mind this explains away the Paul Allen ‘mystery’ rather neatly.
But hey, I could be wrong … “This is my reality. Everything outside of this is like some movie I once saw.”
Since you’ve double posted this question both here and in Cafe Society, I’ll close this one.