Why are Men Obsessed with American Psycho

American Psycho is probably one of Christian Bale's best films, aside from his Batman role; many people are in love with his serial killer character Patrick Bateman.

Batemen is a wealthy investment banker as well as an attractive man who works on Wallstreet and has a hidden persona which is only revealed when he isn’t around upper-class rich people like him.

The whole idea of the movie is how we as people in the postmodern era all dress the same and have the same opinions to suit the public image. The first scene is where Patrick and his fellow Wallstreet associates chat in a restaurant and have the most superficial conversations and are misogynistic.

The idea of a man is seen that they don’t encourage self-expression and are stuck with their thoughts and never releasing that aggression, leading to Bateman sexually torturing/killing prostitutes he sleeps with to somehow express himself and his sought out masculinity that he hides in the workspace.

The theme is focused on how no one truly knows one another and they only see each other as facades as well as masking their true personalities. Men like Bateman with power, wealth and good looks often get away with a lot in society as they have money to help cover their scandalous deeds; and often times it's them feeding their fetishes and deepest fantasies with a woman being part of the equation.

We can see Bateman has two different personas that he masks, as he is only with his fiance´ as that is what society expects of a man in his class, to get married to a woman of class and go to exclusive parties and show off their wealth and fit in with everyone.

Whereas the other side, he is an arrogant and self-centred man who hides in the shadows as well as cheats on his fiance´. In one of the scenes, Bateman acknowledges he is putting up a fake version of himself every morning just so society can accept him, but in reality, he is miserable with his life.

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The setting of the entire film is created in such a way that we can reflect on how we as a modern society just wake up and work in a box to try and meet the expectations of those in a higher hierarchy than ourselves. Where everyone wears the exact same clothes and everyone is forced to have the same opinion otherwise it will tarnish their whole career.

In another scene at the bar, Bateman talks about being more traditional and wanting to have society conform and embrace equality amongst men and women, and the scene then switches to him sniffing up cocaine in the men's bathroom, endlessly cheating on his fiance´ with multiple women just to feed his masculine ego and living an endless lie on a daily basis.

As the film slowly progresses, we see the hypocrisy of men with high social status as they make politically correct opinions just to protect their careers when in reality they would never blink an eye on such social issues. Wealthy people that often preach about social injustice tend to be the ones that care the least, as they see it as a way to seem more empathic and relatable to people of a lower class.

The reason women tend to romanticise over serial killers in movies is usually based on the idea of certain sexual fetishes, such as BDSM. Obviously, no one would want to be in a position where they are about to die, but if the said serial killer is:

  1. Attractive
  2. Great with words and makes a great first impression
  3. Wealthy
  4. Power

These are usually traits that have women unhinged and wanting to explore more with the man. However, being attracted to toxic traits such as those of a serial killer is way more normalised than it should be.

Fast forward to 2021, it wouldn’t be any different. As the likes of wealthy businessmen like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zukerberg are merely part of the industry now and don’t even seem to have personalities of their own.

Both Bezos and Zukerberg are perfect examples of high-status men with hypocritical opinions, where they have made public statements about either caring about working conditions within their companies to good racial practices amongst their workers, but that is all to protect their wealth.

The whole importance of the movie is to show the importance of self-expression, which modern society tries to make us think isn’t normal or natural. Having your own opinion or expressing YOUR thoughts online gets you hate in 2021, as people often lack expressing their true self and opinion and merely agree with everyone else as they believe that person has credibility based on some sort of following or a mistake they made.

Although we as a modern society have the means to express our true selves, most people just take on someone else's persona and makes it their own.

So, even if we have progressed as a society, we are still steps behind as access to social media doesn’t truly allow us to think for ourselves entirely.

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