How the movie “American Psycho” relates to the post modern society of America in the 80′ IIS Postmodernism was first seen in the late nineteenth century, but after the second world war it was applied to people’s everyday life. “American Psycho” portraits the reality and consequences of postmodernism through the mysterious life of Patrick Bateman as the “American Psycho”. Patrick Bateman is the main character of the movie, and the whole world is seen through his eyes. The moral in the movie is that there are no morals, it is one big twisted game fighting for status.
Patriot’s life comes focused on this goal through worshipping the surface through capitalistic, consumerist and narcissistic behavior. The “Business card” scene definitely displays that Patrick Bateman perceives the world as post modernistic. Nothing has meaning to it in Patriot’s mind, as ideologies, goodness and love. What Bateman can relate to are the materialistic aspects for example the business cards where it meaner everything to him to have the best card which is only an illusion of himself.
Bateman and the phenomenon, postmodernism are the idea that nothing is real Just an illusion and that everything is a copy of something that’s already been duplicated. This movie has many different ways to look at it. Many have seen this movie and thought whether this is all real or if it’s Just his crazy twisted mind, making it all up. One thing we can agree on is the fact that Patrick Bateman is a mentally disturbed person. Maybe all this violence and blood displayed in this movie, are the feelings of the author towards the post modernistic society that we have and do live in, this is him showing his hatred towards it.
This is why it is irrelevant whether it is real or not, t is this feeling the author has towards this twisted society that you must understand and to feel it you must see it in action. When societies redefine, the people also redefine this is the process we see in Batsman’s life. He is always thriving to redefine himself both through his physical body and through his materialistic belongings. This thriving for the idealistic image is the meaning of life for Patrick Bateman, all of his actions and thought are focused on redefining himself compared to the redefining society. Survival becomes a key point in this society.
Bateman is trying to survive in his sick society. By surviving it meaner to keep up with all the materialistic ideologies of the perfect being. His survival for this we see when he does his regular morning exercise followed by a skin mask to the battle of business cards. One of postmodernists big aspects is the value given to the materialistic aspects of society, everything has lost its soul even people are described almost as if they were products. People are no longer Judged by their true selves but through what clothes they wear, what perfume they use and how much money they own.
An example from he movie is the big importance of which restaurant to eat at. It is not whether the food is good, it is what image it represents to the surrounding people. Patrick Bateman is trying to sell himself all the time. He does this Just like you would advertise a bottle of coca-cola. He wants the surrounding people to associate him with the best restaurant, business card and even the look of his girlfriend. This is exactly how coca-cola tries to sell us this idea of happiness and fairytale world when you open a bottle of coca-cola, this they do through advertisements as we see it with Bateman, who becomes a product.
Creating this image of yourself is pure postmodernism. The movie shows this to us in such a clear way though Patrick Bateman description of himself. “‘ have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. ” and “there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable…
I simply am not there”. To understand this you must understand that the soul is your true being. Through postmodernism the soul dies due to always having to manipulate and create this illusory image of one self, but by doing this the soul is getting buried so deep beneath this image, that it is almost non-existing. The whole point of a post modernistic life is trying to create this perfect picture of yourself, instead of finding your true self by removing all mindsets and ideologies given to you by this manipulative society trying to give you ideologies, norms and rules that bury our soul.
This movie is showing postmodernism at its finest. All values, ideologies and norms have vanished and now they are meaningless. In the end the only thing you can really reflect on is one self. Bateman is wandering around a materialistic “yuppie society”, where people are so concerned and busy with their outer, status and themselves, that they don’t see how gruesome and crazy Bateman really is. All the violence in itself is not that important for the meaning of the movie. What really is trying to be shown in this movie is this outrage towards the post modernistic society and how it can affect you.