Norman smiling in the last scence

Review & Synopsis: Psycho (1960), and Character Analysis of Norman Bates

A Magnum Opus, a Cult, a movie of epic proportion, a brilliant visual production of a crime fiction; whatever one  says about the film, it lacks  a definite taste to describe the actual weight of the movie’s brilliance and artistic importance.

The inexorable forces of past sins and mistakes crush hopes for regeneration and present happiness.

-Lesley Brill

~Review~

Psycho (1960) is Alfred Hitchcock’sown blood and soul. Despite being one of those rare movies produced in B&W during a commercially flourishing Technicolor film era, it managed to capture audiences’ attention through its subtle simple colored portraits. It doesn’t require any other color but black and white to tell the story of Norman Bates. It, undeniably, can be called a masterpiece, a gem of the greater American film industry.

Psycho Poster

Psycho (1960) Official Poster

The major themes of Psycho, as usual in Hitchcock’s any other film, are; Love, SEX, betrayal, crime, murder and psychologically ill villains. A batter of neo-noir mashed with Suspense and Thriller, the movie’s a visual concoction of prevailing crime of contemporary american society and consumerist lifestyles.

A simple Thriller drama comprising of yet simpler elements of an everyday film; a gorgeous woman (Starlet), psychologically ill or depressed villains, intense background score, police investigation and unique crimes, takes your breath away with its perfectly timed sequences and well-woven plots.

With common substances as of other Hitchcock-ian crafts, Psycho did prove a controversial film of its time, however, it did manage to grab audiences attention and critics’ praise over the time, and secured a Cult status. Impressive use of arts, fabulous acting by Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates) and greater direction of Alfred Hitchcock puts this movie in the top of the list of Best Suspense-Thriller/Drama movies ever made.

★★★★/5

~Synopsis~

(Psycho through Screenshots)

View of Phoenix, Arizona

View of Phoenix, Arizona shown at the start of the movie

Marion Crane making love with her boyfriend

Marion Crane making love with her boyfriend in a hotel room

Marion tries fleeing the city after embezzling $40,000 of her Boss's money

Marion tries fleeing the city after embezzling $40,000 of her Boss’s money

Marion driving through Interstate 10

Marion driving through Interstate 10

Bates Motel Sign

The Bates Motel Sign that Marion sees while on the road

Norman Bates telling his story

Norman Bates, the Bates motel owner, telling his story to Marion

Marion lying dead

Marion is dramatically killed in a shower by a mysterious looking woman, possibly Norman’s mother

Norman dumps Marions and her car in a pond

Norman, being an obedient son, dumps Marion and her car in a nearby pond

Norman scared with Detectives questions

A Detective is sent from Phoenix to investigate on Marion’s whereabouts. He questions Norman

Norman outsmarts the detective

Norman assumes he well hid the fact about Marion’s disappearance and gives a subtle smile

Norman crosdressed as his mother trying to kill lila

Norman, cross-dressed as his mother, tries killing Lila. it’s revealed that he was the guilty of killing Marion but his mother

Corpse of Nroman Bates deceased mother

Marion’s sister Lila tries investigating about on the matter herself. In the process, she finds a desiccated corpse of Norman’s mother

Norman confined in psychiatric ward

Police nabs Norman and sends him to a psychiatric ward. It’s revealed that he has a disassociated identity disorder. he is both ‘Norman’ and ‘Mother’

~Different Shades of Norman Bates’ (The Anti-hero) Character~

Norman Bates (played by Anthony Perkins) is the Anti-hero of the movie ‘Psycho’. Anti-hero in a sense, Norman is suffering from Disassociated Identity Disorder and he generally lives a two different life. Whatever he does or speak greatly differs along the two characters he exudes.

His two lives; first, as himself, ‘Norman Bates’ aka the son, is a caring and loving lad, a conscientious and civic in all manners possible, is a Hero of the film. He inspires Marion to admit her guilt and do the right thing. He desires to live in a better society. A hardworking and dedicated citizen. and Second, as his deceased mother aka Mrs. Bates is a dominating and evil. She controls her and her son’s life most of the time. She, jealous of other women and a sufferer of a male infidelity, protects Norman from the sensual influences of opposite sex his entire life. She motivates him to kill the woman who he finds attractive. She plants the hatred in her son’s life against womanhood and love.

Norman smiling in the last scence

Norman sarcastically smiling at the Camera

An obedient son and a dominating mother, are Norman’s two lives. To suppress the death of his mother and his ruined adolescence, He, often, is possessed by his mother’s persona and he does things what his mother aspires to do.

A loner but strict, Norman desires woman’s company and love, but he can’t profess his liking or initiate a relationship in fear of his mothers reprisal. A psychoanalytic character’s outburst and tantrums is what we get see from him. A predecessor of every psychologically ill character of the later movies.

Psycho (1960)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Written by Robert Bloch, Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles and others

Distributed by Paramount Pictures (Original) & Universal Pictures

Resources

Character of Norman Bates & Making of Psycho (1960) @Wikipedia

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3 comments

  1. Hello, I’m a french student and for a university blog I would like to know if it’s possible to take your Norman Bates picture?
    Thank.

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