11 November 2013
The Monster Inside
Mary Harron’s film American Psycho reveals a very powerful monster in society that explores the obsessions of power and control among men. This theme is most clearly evident in the film as Patrick Bateman and his fellow co-workers examine and compare each other’s business cards. As Bateman brings out his freshly printed cards to impress the other men, they follow by doing the same. Bateman is immensely embarrassed and furious when the other men’s cards are more impressive, especially when Paul Allen, who Bateman envies most, has the best card of them all. Following that scene, there is a constant battle between the businessmen fighting for who is the best, who has the nicest things, and the most money. Through camera angles, lighting, music, voice, and more, these scenes along with the majority of the entire movie, show a clear connection to power among men.
The unique camera angles in this scene intensifies how the audience sees the effects that this scene has on Bateman. As each businessman presents their card, the camera does a close up on the card with the lighting showing every little detail within the card; which goes in parallel with the monotone voice of Bateman as he describes in scrupulous detail the lack of flaws of each man’s card. In this scene, the camera angle changes focus from each man’s card to Bateman’s reaction to each, showing how immensely it effects his character and angers him that he does not have the best card. The lighting on Bateman’s face almost splits it into two sides, one dark and one light. This already hints at a hidden monster inside Bateman and his two-faced identity. In Don Sabo’s “Pigskin, Patriarchy, and Pain”, Sabo explores the idea of intermale dominance. This is used to describe the constant fight for dominance and power between men which is clearly evident throughout American Psycho through Bateman’s actions. As the camera in this scene with the...