Listening to Christian Bale talk about his role in American Psycho allows it to make a lot more sense now than it did while watching it. To be honest, watching the movie was a little uncomfortable at some moments and absurd at others. Yet it was still a provocative movie that made a person think about just how nuts Bateman was. I do very much agree with Bale when he states that Bateman could not possibly exist outside of his known world, meaning his clubs, his work, and his regular haunts. He’s a creature of habit and as such couldn’t possibly live exist outside of what he knows. That’s part of what makes him a limited but very dangerous character.
I also agree that there’s nothing inside Bateman, no heart, no conscience, and no soul to speak of. He does things because he chooses to and doesn’t ever think about the consequences of his actions. There’s something missing in him that seems standard in most human beings but is left out of a select few. Whatever causes this is largely unknown despite what experts would tend to think. He’s a lost soul that never had a chance to be anything other than what he’s become. Learning that Bale can turn this character on and off in his head though makes you wonder about Bale and how stable he really is. Some might call that a mark of a great actor, since turning a character on and off is supposed to be a rather tough thing to do, but coming from the standpoint of a person that’s created their own worlds and been immersed in them so completely that the real world has fuzzed out occasionally, I feel confident in stating that going to such an extreme can be disorienting at times.
In a way Bateman seems like he’s trying to finally bring everything to an end near the terminus of the movie so that he might find something within him that has been so elusive to this point that he’s never really sought it out, perhaps because he simply can’t bring himself to care that much about it. One thing you can say about this movie is that the characters are all so self-absorbed that it’s kind of easy to assume that they’d never know a murderer was sitting among them unless he was carrying a bloody ax and telling them that they were going to be next. In a movie such as this however that might just make a lot of people laugh as it might be taken as a joke in poor taste. That’s how messed up this movie is, people die and no one seems to care unless it affects their own lives. Now if these people dying were someone that no one cared about at all it might make sense, but when Bateman kills someone that might be missed it goes unnoticed and is swept under the rug so as to make it disappear.
Please tell me people in the real world are not like this.