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AMERICAN PSYCHO discussion (consolidated) (spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by todd s, Oct 25, 2001.

  1. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I really had no interest in seeing this movie. But, it was on cinemax last night. I watched about 30 minutes before I went to sleep. I had read somewhere that in the end it is revealed that he did not kill anyone, but was either imagining it or dreaming it. Can someone clarify this?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    The general consensus seems to be that all the killings are in his head. That they are merely fantasies. However, it's never said for sure and is certainly open to interpretation.
    By the way, the book is better. [​IMG] And about 100 times more explicit.
    --
    This is not a signature.
     
  3. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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  4. AdrianJ

    AdrianJ Supporting Actor

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    I believe that the intention, at least of the book, was to keep you guessing as to whether the events were real or not. The movie seems to go over the top and would indicate that they are NOT real.
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    [​IMG]
    Adrian Jones
     
  5. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    Adrian was right, the end is to keep you guessing. I thought the movie was awesome because it really brought out the ideas in the book, more so than other books-to-movies. I read the book about 2 or 3 years before the movie came out and it was my wife that read the book right before we saw the movie. She said it had a pretty close adaption. The funniest scene in the whole movie is:
    Spoiler:When Bateman takes the axe and kills the one guy in his apartment while wearing a rain coat continuously talking about some band.
    The movie was great with the intersting color tones setting themes that interlaced with the superficial themes. I enjoyed that.
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  6. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Brad, it was Huey Lewis' "Hip to be square" song that he was talking about. How do they explain in the movie that it might be all his imagination?
     
  7. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Supporting Actor

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    I prefer the interpretation that Bateman's murders were all fantasies, insofar as this is the only compeuppance that could possibly mean anything to him: to find out that the one thing that he thinks distinguishes him from his soulless brethren--his killing spree--never took place.
    I found the book to be a remarkable, if somewhat punishing and repetitive, achievement. I'm still amazed that Bret Easton Ellis was willing and capable of putting himself into such a dark psychological space for the duration that the writing of the book must have required. Hoopla and controversy aside, it is a very serious, and in many ways, accomplished, work.
    I thought Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner did an excellent job of distilling the psychological and philosophical meat of the text in their script, while making the material a bit less difficult to stomach. (A literal translation of the book would be alternately deathly boring and unwatchably gruesome.)
    In short, you should watch the whole thing if you get the chance. It's more or less tied with Crouching Tiger as my favorite film of 2000.
    --Jefferson Morris
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Lead Actor

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    I always personally took the ending to not be a clear cut sign that the killings hadn't taken place, rather the opposite.
    People sighted the lady in the Apartment and the fact that all the bodies were gone with no trace to be a sign that the killings were his imagination. I took this to be a further symbol of greed- the apartment in that neighborhood was FAR too valuable to leave unoccupied for any duration of time- the landlady would be completely in her best interest (in movie terms) to clean the apt and dispose of the evidence- a police investigation and the stigma attached to a "soiled" apratment would be a serious financial hit.
    People also sighted the lawyer claiming he saw Paul Allen in Europe as a clear sign that Bateman imagined the whole thing... I took it to be the opposite. Throughout the movie, there was a running theme of people mistakening one another for other people: the whole idea of a lack of individuality and that even if there were- no one would notice anyway (they are too self absorbed). I felt the lawyer's comments at the end, about seeing Paul Allen, was just a further selling of the point that nobody knows what the fuck they're talking about.
    I think the overall theme that they guy could be completely insane, and horrible OVER THE TOP murderer and no one notices is the important one (although the above theme about how it is justice that the only thing that Bateman believes makes him different is fake, that's an interesting one too).
    Everyone is so self-absorbed, so wrapped up in the mundane crap of greed and image that no one takes a moment to see the people around them. I'm not sure about the book (never read it), but I felt the ending was a complete spelling out of this "killer is ignored" theme.
    I was actually suprised to find out that anyone believed the killings never happened.
    The only evidence I can think of to support the fact that it didn't happen was:
    1) The chainsaw in the hallway scene-- seemed too insane to ahve ever really happened- even in a movie. The fact that no one came out of their apartments, and that he managed to drop the saw multiple floors and still hit her- seemed like a fantasy to me.
    2) The fact that the cop car blew up in a fireball when he shot at it- again could have just been a "movie moment"- but seemed out of place and made me wonder if it was a fantasy.
    But overall, I thought the Landlady and the Lawyer actually proved he DID do the crimes, and further pushed the themes of the film...
    -Vince
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    [Edited last by Vince Maskeeper on October 25, 2001 at 03:05 PM]
     
  9. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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  10. Gabe D

    Gabe D Screenwriter

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    Vince said what I think. Saved me some typing. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  11. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I agree with Vince, although you could make a strong arguement either way. Mistaken identity is a common theme in the film, and I think the ending is the paramount example of this.
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  12. andrew markworthy

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    *SPOILER ALERT* The best explanation of the book I've heard is that Bateman has lost all his money in the big crash and that the book is a set of his thoughts, distorted memories and fantasies as he goes insane as a result of going bankrupt. At another level, the book is an exaggerated parody of sex and shopping novels.
     
  13. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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  14. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Supporting Actor

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  15. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    Jefferson, read my two posts.
     
  16. AdrianJ

    AdrianJ Supporting Actor

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    For me, what gave it away as a total fantasy, at least in the movie, is when he drops a chainsaw down a stairwell and kills the woman running away. That's just plain impossible!!
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Adrian Jones
     
  17. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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  18. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    He did do it.
    Spoiler:When he went to go collect the bodies from his coworkers apartment, the lady (landlord) knew of his crimes. She didn't want any attention drawn to her or her tenants so she covered up the crime before showing the apartment to future tenants. Remember what she said to him when he came in the apartment? (This is not an exact quote as it's been awhile). "Did you answer the ad in the New York Times"? He replies, "Yes". She says, "There was no ad in the times. Leave now and never come back again."
    I missed Vince's post above, so I basically repeated some of what he posted.
    Jeff
    [Edited last by Jeff on October 27, 2001 at 03:32 AM]
     
  19. Dominik Droscher

    Dominik Droscher Supporting Actor

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    You guys know what the filmmakers want to do to you? There is no clear evidence in the one or the other directon but there are hints to both. So it is impossible to find a real answer.
    What I liked about the book was that whether he fantasized or really killed those people didn't matter too much. It was a brilliant Satire (although I seldom recommend the book to my friends, as the violence is simply unbearable) and I simply didn't care if everything he thinks he went through really happened.
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    [Edited last by Dominik Dröscher on October 27, 2001 at 04:09 AM]
     
  20. tyler O

    tyler O Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally, I felt that it was very open ended. I choose to interpret it to be fantasy. I feel he may have killed the bum and the dog and possibly a couple others, but not the full fledged psychotic episodes he had. I feel he did maim some of the "ladies" he chose to entertain but, again, I feel that most of the murders, proper, were fantasy. I felt much the same about the book. I felt much the same about the e-mail thing they had going on before the movie came out (AP2K). Beautiful movie and an even better book. It definitely had its roots in satire, but it touched everything at such a deep level...
    What is reality anyway but what we percieve? Do we truly have any non experiental criteria for evaluating what reality is? Is not all that we percieve filtered through our brain without any direct knowledge? Everything is filtered through the senses... How good is your computer that compiles sensations that exists between your ears? How fallible is it? Did it feel good stomping that dog to death? Does that say "Feed me a stray cat"? Beautiful.
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