Why does Patrick's lawyer act funny, as if he were joking, when Patrick was confessing to him at the bar?

In this question I get an answer

In the end, Bateman seemingly kills dozens of police officers, something that would not easily be forgiven, forgotten, nor without being the talk of the town and also among his socialite 'friends'. Even his 'confession' is aluded to by his lawyer as a laugh as they believe Bateman is too reserved to commit such acts.

Which explains why the lawyer acted the way he did, but not really because he was calling Patrick, "Davis" and said that "Bateman was dull" (something to that effect).

So what's the deal with the lawyer? Did I just misunderstand the conversation?

6 Answers 6


Patrick Bateman does not exist physically but rather is the narrative occupying the minds of all the characters we see and this is alluded to numerous times. The opening dialog itself states "I simply am not there" which was timed so it's said when he peels off the mask. The entire dialog once the mask has dried alludes to his lack of physical existence and being the "spirit" that occupies all of these people.

He's talking about the emptiness inside these people he represents and the elitist vanities they use to try to fill them and justify their despicable personalities. A group doppelganger or tulpa but he simply doesn't exist physically. When his secretary says "thanks Patrick" he says "I'm not here".

Even the friends of Bateman humiliate him and in the beginning they don't even know which man is Paul Allen. When we see this person, whoever he is, he is drinking himself into an early grave.

Notice the head is there as a projection? It could actually be anybody sitting there but it's The Bateman driving him to sleep with his coworker's fiancéeThe spirit of The Bateman.

Bateman telling people what to do, what he thinks, the standards he sets etc. is the inner voice driving all of these people and sometimes it's internal and other times it's external but we see him as Davis who really exists or Allen who really exists when they are all being The Bateman. Get it? He is the embodiment of everything these people strive to please and be. You notice in conversations everyone centers around him, praises him, seek his approval?

Every emotion he describes is a reflection of every character in the movie right down to the murders but they leave out the "if I could get away with it". There's copious amounts of evidence validating what I am saying. There's at least one example in every scene that verifies what I'm saying.

Not only is there no Patrick Bateman but the physical character we are following doesn't exist. If you rewatch it a few times in a row you can see Patrick Bateman's physical existence represents many things not just thoughts or actual people. Sometimes someone shows up and we see an opportunity to accept this theory as the Bateman unleashed was in fact Victoria's inner Bateman. We are seeing The Bateman inside of everyone. We are watching a movie about all the secondary characters who are in fact the leads but only when they are being The Bateman.

Of course the one last concept is indeed Bateman exists as a Phantom and passes from body to body.

It's as close to art as film making can ever get and one of the few films out of hundreds of thousands that deserves to be called art.


I think the scene is ambiguous...

EITHER the lawyer mistakes Bateman for some other guy Davis - as a repeating theme in the story is someone mistaking person A for person B

OR the lawyer pretends to mistake Bateman for Davis in order to avoid discussing the confession

IN WHICH CASE the lawyer might think Bateman is crazy and fantasized the murders

OR the lawyer might think Bateman really did the murders

BUT IN ANY CASE the scene with the lawyer is in keeping with the repeating theme of people not really knowing the people around them, or caring to know

  • My wife thought that he was calling him Davis and playing it off as a joke to protect Bateman (pointing to your 2nd sentence). It kind of made sense at the time and your answer makes sense as well. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 14:50

According to the Wiki article, the lawyer "mistakes him for another colleague". This is supposed to drive home the fact that although he is somewhat of a narcissist, he is unimportant to certain people around him. In fact, everyone is unimportant to certain people around them. The disconnection and the need to feel important is really what drives Bateman, as he loves to fill each of his victims in with useless bits of trivia that make him feel smarter than everyone else. He even breaks off his engagement to his fiance by saying, "You're just not that important to me", further emphasizing the concept of disconnect and importance.


I think the film doesn't intend for us to exclude any of these ideas above (even if they conflict with one another). We see many plot contradictions flagrantly displayed not out of carelessness but with an intentional antipositivism. The facts are not as important as the message. I prefer to think Bateman is an illusory representative of that culture as well as a real psychopathic serial killer as well as a spoiled frustrated alpha male with delusions of grandeur and made up violent fantasies. It's like watching Heath ledger in The Dark Knight. Did he get his scars from his dad or were they self inflicted? Is he lying or delusional? The movie has more power for me if I say "all of the above" because these characters are not real and thus they have the advantage of telling multiple stories with parallel lessons.


I don't actually think Patrick Bateman is his real name. His lawyer calls him Davis, which could be his real name. Patrick Bateman could be the first person he has killed, whom he has stolen the identity of in his head, the same way he stole paul allen's identity. Patrick Bateman may have been his first victim which causes his insanity (?)


In the end scene his lawyer calls him Davis but when he goes back to sit with his group of co-workers, one of them refers to him as Bateman. Paul Allen refers to him as Marcus Halberatram so my guess is Paul Allen and some of the other not so close people to Patrick just mistaken him for someone else cause there's so many of them and they are self centered, he really is Patrick Bateman. Everyone else (the people closest to him) calls him Patrick Bateman, such as the people he most hangs around from work, his fiancee, and his assistant. I think he didn't kill anyone except maybe Paul Allen cause the lawyer mistakes him for Davis, so he probably mistook someone else for Paul Allen. I could be wrong and maybe it was Paul so maybe he just imagined he killed him too.It's hard to say because the lawyer says he was with Paul in London ten days ago, but what's the time span from when he believes he killed Paul and he was reported missing. Plus wouldn't it be too convenient for someone else to be in London, the one Patrick picked out of the choices he came up with when he was thinking of where he could say Paul went when he left the message on the answering machine. And how did the security guard not notice he left blood going along the floor when he dragged the body out the door, plus you don't see it anymore in the clip when he's outside about to put it in the trunk. Also in the beginning he yells at the girl bartending "you're a fucking ugly bitch! I want to stab you too death, then play around with your blood." And she doesn't even hear a word he says or even makes any sort of facial expression acknowledging what he said, and he has a smile on his face when she hands him the drinks which makes me believe he just imagined saying that to her. Plus when he kills the hooker with the chainsaw, it was not occupied by anyone so if it was an empty/abandoned building, how did he get into a room without a key or something similar to get in the room without any signs force and no one heard the chainsaw. When he looks in the closet there was no bodies and he looked confused because there wasn't any.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .