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Amy Dunn: The Female Psychopath

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Thriller and suspenseful movies dominate a sphere that continuously experiments with pushing characters toward psychological extremes. American Psycho, No Country For Old Men and Nightcrawler are just a few examples of brilliantly crafted films showcasing these characters and the discreet havoc that is unleashed through their cold and calculated actions. We must, however, note that these representations typically feature male characters, isolated from society and denying their association with normal functioning citizens. Similar characters told from the lens of a female psychopath are often far and few and do not hold nearly enough influence as these characters. That is until Rosamund Pike delivered her 'cool girl' monologue as Amy Dunn.

Amy's 'cool girl' monologue has become an iconic, fresh, and sophisticated part of her character's individuality. While male characters are often shown to be within positions of control or aspiring to achieve it, Amy is stripped of that control in the first place, leading her to stop being the 'cool girl'. She stops being the stereotypically defined perfect woman that a man desires. She refuses to cater specifically to her lover's personality and continue to meet his unrealistic expectations. While Amy's character is crafty, calculating, and most definitely a psychopath, a message of empowerment is still evident. The previous movies with male protagonists also deliver stories of empowerment for them, but the way these characters carry out their self-interests makes them memorable even now. One might argue about right or wrong but all of these characters reject the principles that society would have them follow to carve out their twisted path, defying not only stereotypes but also the established norms. It makes one think how long it could be before something we readily accept presently might become repulsive and unacceptable to society down the line.

Gone Girl, however, could take the crown for pushing these boundaries to the extreme, showing manipulative tactics that make us forget the admiration for Amy's empowerment and instead fearful that someone we surround ourselves with: a partner, a friend, or an acquaintance, might also have such monstrous intent hidden away. She ends up being called the most assertive representation of a 'sigma female', a supposed lone wolf that exercises her wants and desires, irrelevant to any societal peril.

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