He has it all - the American dream. A 15th storey glass-fronted condo,
expensive furniture, highly paid job with career advancement possibilities
and a wardrobe full of designer clothing. And jet he is not happy. He feels
nothing. The minutes are ticking by, and form hours, days, months, years.
Nothing happens. Surrounded by emptiness, he doesn't feel alive. A chance
encounter with the mysterious Tyler Durden opens his eyes to the possibility
that he can live a life without material goods. The two begin to fight each
other, once a week, for emotional release through physical pain and
suffering. There is no better way to feel alive, than to taste death. Life
has suddenly got a meaning. Soon others find out about this new way of
therapy and the Fight Club is born. After a little while, every major city
gets its own fight club, but that's only the first step in Tyler's complex
plan. But then the events start moving out of control and the two words -
fight club, mean now urban terrorism..
This is more or less the plot in David Fincher's dark and disturbing film.
Off course there's much more to it. "Fight Club" plays on several levels,
generates many provoking thoughts and is completely open for interpretation.
The plot itself (based on the novel by Chuck Palancniuk) should be enough to
make an impression, but Fincher's gritty and innovative style and the Dust
Brothers' acidic chemical cocktail of dark, mood-enchancing tunes, turns
this film into a macabre, visual masterpiece.
The film's main person and nameless narrator is played by Edward Norton. As
always Nortondelivers an exceptional performance, flowing into the role of a
cynical, but mild-minded young man. This character is probably like 90% of
this world's population. Tyler Durden is the black hole of his soul; he is
everything our narrator isn't, and at the same time everything he wanted to
be. This interesting contrast is shown in everything - from clothes and
visual appearance to thoughts and feelings. Tyler's complex character is
portrayed by the ever popular Brad Pitt. After 25 movies, this is his
strongest performance. And believe me, he is really impressive. Helena Boham
Carter is the only female lead in this film, who plays a woman that attends
support group meetings purely for the entertainment value. She gets
unwillingly involved in the macabre and strange events coming one after
another. In addition to this talented trio, the supporting cast, consisting
of almost unknown actors, is equally wonderful, including Meat Loaf and
Jared Leto .
Even before the release of "Fight Club" everyone were talking about
Fincher's graphical portrayal of violence. There is no point to deny that
"Fight Club" is violent movie. The brutal scenes of blood and bones smashed
will certainly burn into your mind. But the purpose of this horrific
bloodbath is not to entertain or amuse, but to make a powerful statement.
Every member of Fight Club is a victim of a dehumanizing and cynical
society. There is one point in the film when Tyler asks: "How much can you
know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?". Pain gives these men
a sense of individuality by exploring their most primitive, barbaric
instincts. Violence is here a depiction of the bestial nature of man.
Fincher really overcomes himself as he is revealing each new turn in a
spiral that descends into darkness and madness. "Fight Club" is not a
"politically correct" film. It doesn't show the world through rose-colored
classes, it shocks and provokes because of its open depiction of the
horrifying reality. Issues like fascism and the whole Nazi ideology is here
shown as a metaphor for the rise of national socialism. What's making this
film even more interesting is the element of satire and macabre humor. This
is a very difficult combination, and it works. The director's surreal style
allows scenes, that under normal surcomstances would not fit in a serious
and dramatic film like this one. In one scene, our narrator's appartement is
displayed like a page in a furniture catalog, complete with text blurbs
superimposed on the screen describing the various pieces. Add some brilliant
voice-over comentaries (by Norton), and you'll get a twice as effective
scene, revealing much more about our social image, than the creepy
conversations in "Se7en".
"Fight Club" is a heavy, surreal experience that really gets under the skin,
refusing to be ignored. Both Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange",
"Dr.Jekkyl and Mr.Hyde" and "American Psycho" come to mind, while watching
this aggressive fist fight of a movie. This is actually the only film so
far, that can challenge "Eyes Wide Shut" ; and like Kubrick's last
masterpiece, this is a film that offers too much to absorb under one
So what is this film about? Is it about troubled and self-destructive youth,
the soullessness of the corporate world, or the role of love and friendship
in modern society? The answer you have to find for yourself, but one thing
is certain: "Fight Club" is a lasting and forceful emotional statement about