There are fewer films more beloved than Fight Club in today’s youth culture (whenever I say “youth culture”, I feel like I’m making a film with Ed Wood). It’s violent, vaguely philosophical, and surprisingly emotionally fulfilling, it has all the fittings of an ultra-violent anti-establishment Star Wars. I can’t say I agree with its politics, its bourgeois anti-intellectual intellectualism, or its grim outlook on humanity, but David Fincher knows how to direct, and does he ever on this bleak-but-riveting film.
I don’t want to talk about the plot, because everyone already knows the story, and for those who don’t, it’s better off discovering the film for yourself. Basically, though, it involves a bunch of fed-up testosterone-addled adults getting together to start a fight club to relieve the stress in their individual lives. This club, with its rigorous rules and its codes of ethics, starts to take on a mind of its own, changing the members’ lives irrevocably forever.
The film stars Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, and they are good in their appropriate places, but I don’t think any of that matters too much. What always fascinated me was the intricate emotional world Fincher builds in a present much like our own, only much darker and more foreboding. It’s a world of corporate dogs, disillusionment with society through the selling out of one’s values. All the characters in the film have in some ways disenfranchised themselves, and it is through the fight club that they attempt to re-establish their dignity and pride.
Fight Club is not a particularly deep story, but it’s all in the direction here. Of course, the original story by Chuck Palahniuk is jam-packed with literary twists and turns, so it can be a bit predictable at times, but the dialog is crisp and entertaining at the least. Edward Norton plays a character full of vinegar and ire, and he too is fed up in this fictionalized corporate fallacy. His take on life, while maudlin and delusional, is at the very least funny to listen to, and is eloquently phrased at that.
This is a movie for teenage males who feel displaced or connoisseurs of direction who want to see a great visionary at work. I’m keeping this one short because I’d like to make this an open discussion with everyone about some of the themes and motifs present in not only Fight Club, but in the captivating style of David Fincher. Post anything you like, because this is a movie that always gets people talking. I give Fight Club 7 1/2 testosterone-addled adults out of 10.
So open up the comments on this thread, and stay tuned for tomorrow, where we take a look into Run Lola Run!