Fight Club is a 1999 American film adaptation of the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher and follows a nameless protagonist (Edward Norton), an everyman and an unreliable narrator who feels trapped with his white-collar position in society. The narrator gets involved in a fight club with soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt); He also gets tangled up in a relationship triangle with Tyler and an emotionally troubled woman, Marla Singer played by Helena Bonham Carter. The final scenes of the film reveal an unexpected plot twist ending which is probably one of the greatest endings of a film; this is why it is so popular. (Showing that Tyler Durden is actually the anonymous narrator’s alter-ego. The narrator imagines him up, because he feels Tyler Durden is everything that is missing from his own life.)
Personally, I found the testosterone fuelled film absolutely fantastic and breathtaking as I watched it with great pleasure. I thought there were some spectacular visual effects and the detail in scenery was perfect. However it didn’t do entirely great at the box office when it was first released as people generalised it to be a boring, dull movie that just revolved around excessive violence. I think when many people watched it, like me, they would have changed their opinions because of the thrilling drama within the movie.
After watching it, I felt there was a new meaning to life; it was very thought provoking and it left lasting evocative images and ideas that particularly enthralled me; Ideas such as Tyler Durden’s view on life, which is very interesting. He says: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy stuff we don’t need.” This quotation emphasises the fact that people will do anything to get the latest gear, even though they don’t need it; Trying to highlight the point that material goods don’t bring happiness. This brings us to the next quotation: “I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let… lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may”. Tyler Durden realises the fact that being ‘perfect’ in this world won’t bring happiness and are losing their masculinity. There are also some techniques the Director used to present the ideas of the film. When the credits are rolling, the background images represents a brain’s neural network in which the
Thought processes are initiated by the narrator’s fear impulse. Furthermore the film’s soundtrack is entitled “where is my mind”; the images and the soundtrack compliment each other to give the film a psychological, mysterious theme straight from the start. Also the interior of Tyler Durden’s home was designed to possess a sense of decay to reflect the deconstructed world of the characters. This also shows signs that these men are starting from scratch, like early man, who lived in broken, disgusting places. Tyler Durden is trying to give out a message that it is good to do this as he says “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”. This basically means if we have nothing to worry about, we can do anything we want.
The film has many themes; identity, masculinity, social rejection and self exploration are the main ones. The movie concentrates on these disenfranchised young men with empty lives, they fight to feel something again. They have no identity and try and make up for it through chasing commercialism. It is essentially the narrator feeling empty and devoting his life and attaching himself to his material goods as he has nothing else to live for, through fight club they try and reclaim that masculinity and humanity they feel they lost when being the “generation raised by women”.
The positive aspects of the movie were definitely the precision in getting the themes and ideas across. Another positive would be the scenery. As stated above, Tyler’s home suited his and the narrator’s characters. The atmosphere of the fight club was very masculine. The actual fight club was inside a dark, old basement with very few lights, and broken walls and you could tell if you were to step place in this dump you would definitely feel and take in the smell of masculinity. The scenery suits the purpose of the fight club; to regain their manliness. If the fight club was held in a bright pink room, I don’t think it would achieve the same effect. Furthermore, some effects like when the narrator dreams that the plane is crashing and the roof of the place rips off, this shows the extreme thoughts the man has. As for the actual effect, it was very breathtaking
Because it looked very real and the viewer would feel like they were sat with the character as it happened.
Nevertheless, as with all movies, there will be some negatives. Some viewers may get confused with the plot. It contains quite a lot of confusing scenes, such as the unexpected twist at the end when Tyler reveals he is the alter-ego of the narrator. Some viewers who weren’t familiar with diseases such as schizophrenia would find It confusing. Therefore some critics can say the twist ending was a fail.
There were many different interpretations of the film, one being the critics thinking Tyler and the Narrator appear to be on the edge of turning homosexual, as this quotation explains this; “We’re a generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer we need”. Also the homoerotic bath tub scene compliments the idea. However I disagree with the critics, as they are wrong because the director himself has stated that he used these techniques to allude the viewer from the truth (that Tyler is The Narrators’ alter-ego). Also another reason why I personally believe why it can’t be true is because The Narrator sees Tyler as a father figure. The Narrator states that his father walked out on him when He was six. The Narrator never learned what it means to be a man; as he said, “I’m a 30 year-old boy”. Tyler is important in this respect because he acts as the father The Narrator never had by taking him in, bonding with him, teaching useful tricks and most importantly, by teaching him how to be a man through fight club.
The three main characters of the film were Tyler Durden, The Narrator and Marla Singer. I think they all played their roles well and brought out the best of their characters. Brad Pitt’s popularity also attracted unintended audience members which was a plus for the movie. I enjoyed them performing in the film; I liked the portrayal of Edward Norton’s character. He was very unique and different but at the same time he was an average man because of his job in life. His character was an anonymous narrator so therefore there is some element of mystery in him which highlights the point that the movie will have some unexpected scenes down the line. I didn’t like the Character Marla Singer because in my eyes she wasn’t very interesting and seemed like a miserable drug addict with no social life. Also certain audience members won’t be able to relate to her character because there aren’t many drug addicts who will be watching this movie. Some audience Members such as homosexual people or really feminist people may not like the characters of the film because the characters were fed up of having feminine qualities and wanted to regain their masculinity again.
To conclude this movie is irresistible and has some off the chain moments in the plot. It is a wonderful piece of art with some hilarious moments on the way and unexpected plot twists which add suspense. It is still a phenomenal hype ten years after its release. On the other hand some Viewers may find it disappointing because they might just not be interested in the genre or may be confused with the plot. But it has thrilled many and many to come with the quality of the film and will go down as a Captivating classic. I give this movie 5/5 stars.