Fight Club

1 Apr

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Fight Club is a film I had seen once before and that had been highly recommended to me. I’ll be honest, the first time I saw it I was somewhat underwhelmed. However, whilst looking for a movie to watch I spotted this one on my shelf and thought I’d give it another go, and I’m glad I did.

The film opens with our narrator (Edward Norton) in a precarious predicament, advising us that we’ve met him at a strange time in his life. We then rewind to a slightly less strange time for him, but where it’s all about to go a bit odd.

The narrator, we discover, suffers from insomnia. In an odd attempt to combat his problem, he starts attending support groups for people with serious medical problems that he doesn’t have himself (cancer, blood parasites, tuberculosis amongst them). In doing this, he finds an environment where he can cry and, for whatever reason, this helps cure his insomnia. He becomes addicted to the groups.

He chances upon another ‘imposter’ at these groups by the name of Marla (Helena Bonham Carter). He states that he can’t cry in front of a fellow support group fraud and so they divide their groups up so as to never have to see each other again. Quite the opposite happens though, and Marla becomes an integral part of the story.

The most important relationship in the film though is that between the narrator and a charismatic soap salesman he meets on a flight. That man is Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). Fate dictates that the two of these men will come to live together. As the narrator becomes bored of his white-collar job, he and Durden set up a secret fight club, where any ‘everyman’ just like them can go and beat the crap out of a stranger to add some excitement to their lives.

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As the film progresses, Durden’s plans for the club evolve and the members of the club form an anti-corporate group called Project Mayhem. I won’t say anything else of the story as Fight Club is pretty hard to write about without giving away spoilers. What I can say though is that this is a clever movie making great, though unsubtle statements about consumerism and capitalism. It has a good story that evolves well and see’s the narrator and Tyler Durden progress into increasingly interesting and, in Durden’s case, provocative characters. As co-leads, they feed off each other brilliantly, both putting in excellent performances that help carry the story. Bonham Carter too produces a good performance.

With an undercurrent of brilliant black humour, Fight Club is an entertaining film trying to make a big statement. It was only on a re-watch that I realised how well it gets its message across. There are massive elements of this story that you will find far more interesting on a second viewing as you’ll be deliberately looking for things that you didn’t know to look for first time round. This definitely stands as a ‘must see’ movie.

8/10

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