Fight Club (1999)

fightclub_1999_poster
Fight Club (1999)
  • Time: 139 min
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Cast: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter

Storyline:

A nameless first person narrator (‘Edward Norton’ ) attends support groups in attempt to subdue his emotional state and relieve his insomniac state. When he meets Marla (‘Helen Bonham Carter’ ), another fake attendee of support groups, his life seems to become a little more bearable. However when he associates himself with Tyler (Brad Pitt) he is dragged into an underground fight club and soap making scheme. Together the two men spiral out of control and engage in competitive rivalry for love and power. When the narrator is exposed to the hidden agenda of Tyler’s fight club, he must accept the awful truth that Tyler may not be who he says he is.

2 reviews

  • The male world just got with this film its ultimate masterpiece, it will even make guys laugh, think, and even cry. Yeah, “Fight Club” can do that to any man to watch these unforgettable 2:19 hours of pure excitement! “Fight Club” is a testosteronic classic to be remembered, the title just sounds like a fight film, but who thinks that are wrong, the movie goes much deeper than that. The writing of Jim Uhls (screenplay) is superb, explores our society through dialogs and breathtaking scenes, and the direction of David Fincher makes it all fantastic. Also, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton gave in my opinion the best performances of their careers. One of the most engrossing movie’s I’ve ever seen! Incredible film!

  • “If you wake up in a different time in a different place, can you wake up a different person?” ponders our narrator, sometimes called Jack (Edward Norton), in David Fincher’s pitch black, blood red dramedy Fight Club. Sure to be controversial, it’s a razorblade of a film – if there isn’t a little bloodletting in your psyche, then it hasn’t done its job. As Norton and costar Brad Pitt have said in interviews, the film doesn’t work if it doesn’t shock.

    Like many of his generation, Jack has been brought up to have a good education, desire a label-conscious life but end up as a wage slave in the process. Working as a recall coordinator, the emptiness of his mundane life has left him emotionally numb and deprived of sleep. He finds emotional release by attending support groups – in the testicular cancer group, he’s partnered with Bob (Meat Loaf), a former bodybuilder whose steroid abuse has left him with “bitch tits.” Jack’s nights bcome a swirl of support group meetings – cancer, blood parasites, etc. – and he finally feels so connected to his life that he’s able to sleep. “Babies don’t sleep this well,” he croons.

    Then Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) ruins everything. “If I had a tumor,” he says in disgust, “I’d name it Marla.” A chainsmoking ragamuffin, she threatens his emotional equilibrium, so much so that they agree to split up their support group meetings to avoid running into each other. Despite this deal, he finds himself caught in another insomniacal time rift. This is when he meets Tyler Durden (Pitt), an erstwhile soap salesman whose let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may philosophy and iconoclastic, anarchic attitude draws Jack in. “You are not your job,” Tyler proclaims. “The things you own end up owning you. Self-improvement is masturbation. Now self-destruction. . .” Tyler muses. And so fight club is born. It is a place where men can gather to pummel each other to their heart’s content. It is not about beating each other senseless, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s not about revenge or emasculation – it’s about feeling alive, it’s about being aware of your existence, of living to live and dying with scars. It’s a rebel yell for those who pay good money for their educations only to find themselves working menial jobs, it’s a call to arms against the anesthetic cocktail of careerism and consumerism. It is a love song to solitude, to independence, to the individual.

    Many will not see Fight Club in this way. They may see only that it is a dark and brutal film. And it is – there’s no getting around that – but what lies beneath the surface is a wake-up call and it has to be sounded in the extreme. Fight Club argues that civilization has neutered us, that in a sense mortality has deadened us – image has become our morphine, the masks we put on have become our actual faces. We dress ourselves up in fancy clothes, live in fancy apartments decorated with IKEA furniture and live programmed lives but – and this is the perverse glimmer of hope that the film offers — underneath the trappings, man is still a primate. Bottom line: it is still survival of the fittest and violence can erupt at any moment like an underestimated volcano.

    As such, blood must be spilled. But not in vain. Watching Fight Club makes one realize, with not a little disturbing satisfaction, that we are not inured or desensitized to cinematic violence. The film’s intense brutality necessitates wincing, not only because it contains scenes of men beating each other into bloody pulps but also because, like Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, mischief is stitched into the mayhem.

    Fincher presents the tale in a cinematic stream-of-consciousness. The camera follows the characters’ thoughts, often pausing to break the fourth wall and point out its own simulated reality. At one point, the screen becomes an IKEA catalogue come to life. Pitt’s Tyler is first introduced in subliminal flashes, quite apropos considering his Tyler is Norton’s Jack’s id come to uncontrollable life. Pitt has always worn the dark side well (see Twelve Monkeys) and he inhabits Tyler with a sexy, ruinous menace and lends charismatic credence to Tyler’s often unswallowable philosophies.

    This is only Norton’s sixth film in half as many years. His immense talent continues to astonish and he once again proves himself to be the gold standard for actors of his generation. Pick any scene from Fight Club that he’s in and it’s an example of his astonishing brilliance. My favorite – and it is feat of physical playing – is when Jack beats himself up to blackmail his boss. One’s mouth slackens, the eyes go wide, the brain doesn’t quite wrap itself around what it registers. This is Fight Club: it’s nerves and guts and bones bared. Be prepared to get some blood on you.

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