Fight Club is a drama based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahnuik, directed by David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meatloaf and is very much a film of its time in the late 90s’ anti-establishment style of The Matrix, though it’s still relevant to today. The character of the narrator is somewhat of a blank slate, dissatisfied with his dull work life and longing for something more, he meets the wild, unpredictable Soap Maker Tyler Durden and gets brought into the Fight Club.
Where he meets other disenfranchised, jaded modern city workers who go to the club for catharsis and to just feel like men, fighting bare knuckle and shirtless, there are 8 rules of fight club with the most important two being, “you DO NOT talk about Fight club”. The films’ story is and it stands out from a lot of other dramas in its’ material and execution, the premise is a interesting on a basic level, imagining an underground fight club for dissatisfied, emasculated feeling male city workers, seeing them unleash their raw angst through fighting. But the plot dramatically veers off from the fight club itself into interesting and surprising places, things you definitely didn’t see coming the first time around.
Pitt brings a wild, unhinged role to life as Tyler Durden in one of the best performances of his career, he’s unpredictable, seemingly has his head on straight and is also charismatic and a leader of men, drawing people to his cause while Norton is the practical opposite as the Narrator, insecure, unsure of himself and much more of a follower. While Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) brings a quirky, surreal touch to an already surreal feeling film.
David Fincher relishes in the film with his grounded directorial style, depicting the gritty violence, which fits in with the context of the film and with an long running underlying tone of control, influence masculinity, the film has some pretty vivid imagery and looks great in several scenes, with an effective use of slow-motion that’s made more effective with near constant narration by Norton. Nortons’ narration adds that extra element to the film which not only adds exposition but gives us his own point of view as he goes on a pretty wild ride after meeting Tyler, this is a fish out of water type story with a bit of a difference. And the film works effectively as a sort of character study for the narrator and Tyler Durden initially getting on but finding them selves on differing stances. What if you met someone that embodied your raw, unhinged drive and desires, what would happen? Though the film does ask that question, it also flips the script and makes you remember and view the entire film from a changed view point after the twist is revealed, a very mind bending plot point to say the least.
Fight Club is a film that has been analyzed and broken down a thousand times with undertones in the film that are as intriguing as the films plot itself but I think the film is better enjoyed as a great nuanced drama with a solid story and brilliant characters characters and the joy of the story is that you can get enjoyment out of just watching it or breaking it down and discussing it further but either way, you’re engaged.
Fight Club stands the test of time as one of the best and most imaginative dramas of modern film, it’s a fantastically well directed story with some great, iconic performances and a plot that twists, turns and keeps you engaged throughout.
. Engrossing plot that takes interesting turns
. Brilliant performances from Pitt, Norton
. Very well shot film