Psycho (1960)

Wow. This movie was awesome. I really didn’t expect the ending to be like that. It reminded me of Identity (2003), another movie I enjoyed. You could think of Identity as a sort of spin off of Hitchcock’s Psycho and I think the original Psycho had an influence on the more modern Identity.

Anyways, I found it interesting that Bates mentioned cats and dogs in his conversation about birds because cats and dogs scratch or bite, while birds are relatively harmless. Birds cannot inflict harm to him the way cats and dogs can, and we can see the extent of his power obsession.

Even in his own “sanctuary”, with his peephole where he feels empowered, where he can be himself, there are still more powerful entities.

This is what I’m talking about. The low angle shows Bates where he has power, in his own domain, and yet still there is a higher power. It goes from us, to Bates, to the owl. The nocturnal creature watches Bates at all times. Ironically, the animal that is passive, that Bates controls, turns into an object of reverence and fear in the end. Moreover, the owl is the most brightly lit thing in the frame. Even where Bate should have power, he still does not.

He seeks power in his own way and he still fails, maybe unintentionally. His unavoidable lack of control is unbearable so he decides to be a completely different person, the ideal figure with power in Bates’ life- his mother. He cannot change the external, so inside manifests the power figure. Only then can he enjoy playing the opposite role.

That’s just how I see Bates’ mind. This character was very interesting and the actor (Anthony Perkins) is absolutely superb. That is all.

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6 Responses to “Psycho (1960)”

  1. xavieraslarona Says:

    Nice, I almost forgot about that movie (Identity). It kind of ramps up the idea of Psycho of Norman’s mind being occupied by one character, his mother, and makes the patient’s mind occupied by many different characters. The question by the end of both films is of identity and who’s who. Is Norman completely gone with his mother taking his place? I love movies that open this sort of discussion.

  2. Stephen Mahoney Says:

    I think that Hitchcock was being ironically sarcastic with the part about cats and dogs, when he says birds are harmless, as he has film “Birds” where birds take over a small town.

  3. Denisha Bayley Says:

    I like how you mentioned Bates conversation about the birds. I didn’t really catch the reference the first time but now that I think of it, Hitchcock was ironically foreshadowing his next film “The Birds.” Ironic, like Stephen mentioned, because in that film the birds just randomly go crazy and start violently attacking people.

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