Sigma Males in movies

Stephen Wells, Reporter

Sigma males are considered an outlier in society; they are outside of group hierarchy.  The films, American Psycho, Nightcrawler, Fight Club, and Taxi Driver incredibly represent this theme of a “lone wolf” or “maverick”. 

To be an unorthodox, independent-minded person, a character gives up social norms and finds their own purpose in life. Each protagonist is distinctively different from the normal law-abiding citizen, and have some unique obsession in their personality. 

For Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, he lives an orderly-routine life in a desk office job while galavanting around with his social group of friends, coworkers, and their partners. He becomes obsessive over his reputation and image. For example, all of his coworkers flaunt off their freshly printed work cards. 

Evidently, his obsession became too burdening and he acted out on it. Patrick murders Paul Allen, goes on a wild goose chase with a FBI agent, and loses his mind. At the end of the story, he is faced with the insanity of Paul Allen never existing. 

No matter how it turned about, certain characteristics of him stood out the most throughout the whole movie: decisiveness and individualism. Patrick Bateman lived for himself and put order in his life for it to make sense. However, when it all collapsed around him, he lashed out. 

In Nightcrawler, Lou Bloom is a mysterious man who finds out a morbid occupation of filming graphic accidents, crashes, and crime in general and selling them to news stations. No matter if there was police tape or officers telling him to back off, Lou proceeded to do anything for the perfect shot. 

He had a consistent habit of learning quickly on topics and going really in-depth with it. After picking up filming, Lou hired an employee and taught him the ropes of his business. 

With such a hardcore mind like Sherlock Holmes, Lou Bloom manages to gain riches. Better yet, he comes across the video of his life of a triple homicide in Granada Hills. Not only did he video the preliminary robbing scene, but he tracked down the assassins through an APB and recorded them getting chased by the police.

Altogether, he evaded the police station from accounting himself of withholding information from the law. What is even more disturbing, he allowed the employee to die because he was taking control of bargaining power since the reward of the fugitives was $50,000. 

Yet again, an obsession over purpose and occupation got in the way of his life. He pushed away his friends and was greedy about progress.

In another movie, Fight Club, a depressed man experiences insomnia and a catastrophic event that alternated his life forever. At the sight of his apartment being targeted by a homemade bomb, he searched for someone to stay with until he could get his feet back up on the ground again. 

There were only two options: Marla Singer or Tyler Durden. Marla had impeded his support groups (which cured his insomnia temporarily), and Tyler Durden had met with the man on a business airplane trip. He chose Tyler, who introduced him into fighting. 

While bunking in a squatted house, they both ramp up their own fighting club in the basement of a restaurant. The only rule was to never mention the fight club outside of the premises, but later on, the added rule was to always follow the mission protocol. 

Eventually, the two had started an empire of minions that were brainwashed into following their Project Mayhem. Meanwhile, Marla Singer was hooking up with Tyler. 

However, at the near end of this project, the main character realizes something about himself. He. is. Tyler. Durden. A dissociative personality disorder or alter-ego had clouded up his whole life. And now, everything was going sideways with Marla and Project Mayhem. 

With such a plot twist, the whole movie made final sense and the conflict had been resolved. The stubbornness, insanity, and loneliness separated Tyler from the rest of his peers. He even managed to mold others into his idealism, which made himself crazy in the process.

Lastly, Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver lives out a false life in the crowded and busy streets of New York City. Suffering from a drastic form of insomnia like Tyler and PTSD, Travis decided a job as a nighttime taxi driver would benefit him. 

During this treacherous ‘cabbie’ job, he faced the scum of the world. He despised the druggies and good-for-nothing scumbags. When met with Palatino (running for president), in his taxi, Travis discovered a newfound passion to get rid of the evil in the city. 

Aside from his pursuit to be rid of evil, he had been attracted to a woman in the political campaign for Palatino. Sadly enough, the lady left him because of his disgusting taste in movies. Loneliness followed where Travis had hit an all-time low. By reaching out to his cabbie friends, he regained focus and cleared his head. 

Only this time, without the illusion of love or lust, Travis scouted the streets to find a young 12-year-old girl who had been captive to prostitution. His purpose in his life led him to buying out several guns, spending weeks to months training, and killing the despised prostitution ‘pimps’. 

Travis nearly died except found himself in better health where the movie ends with his lost love getting a taxi ride to her apartment. He chose the honest way in things: humility and diffidence in a way that all sigma males do. 

To sum this genre entirely up, it contains a lonely and destructive lifestyle where there are few to none purposes in each of their lives. Although, smaller and unnoticeable tragedies attract them where not many would stop to glimpse. Insanity is brought out of them when too much stress occurs or things go haywire. Sigma male is seen as a lone ranger identity in which nobody holds you down and the individual is more important than the community or whole. 

Exploitation is widely overused throughout these characters due to their addictive personalities. In my opinion, Lou Bloom is a pure example of a sigma male through all characteristics. He is a manipulative, cold man. But, he also is intelligent and broad-scoped. 

I thoroughly enjoyed these movies and it should be also considered as a psychological thriller; it is enough to change your entire mindset in life. For pleasure or intrigue, this film genre is delightable. However, they have long durations but honestly so worth it.