Fight Club is based on the sensational debut novel of Chuck Palahniuk about a confused young man living in our modern world, in USA. David Fincher is the director and the narrator (Edward Norton), Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), Robert “Bob” Paulsen (Meat Loaf) are the leading characters in the film which was released in 1999. The film does not belong to a certain genre but we can say that it is a deep psychological action film, which also includes dramatic and thriller elements.
In Imdb.com, the movie is rated 8.8/10 and is considered as the tenth best movie ever made by the votes of people around the world. Fight Club is not a simple film and it forces audience to think. It is full of ideas, ideologies and symbols. Despite its huge success in the counter and its popularity, its critical stance towards the modern American society brought Fight Club only a single Oscar nomination in the “Best Effects, Sound Effects” category. We can say that Fight Club is a rare film that challenges the viewer to come up with his own interpretations.
In the movie, our protagonist, the narrator (Edward Norton) has an easy, well-paid desk job but an empty and meaningless life with no family, friends or aims. In addition, he suffers from insomnia and the empty consumer culture that his generation has been doomed to inherit. He frequents cancer and disease groups in order to bond with others and get rid of his insomnia. At the beginning, these support groups help him to get rid of his insomnia and he starts to sleep like a baby.
However, when he realizes that there is another “faker tourist” called Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), who participates in these groups in order to have fun and drink free coffee, he loses his concentration and insomnia starts to disturb him again. One day, on a plane he meets a charismatic stranger called Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and he becomes an admirer of him. After an explosion in the narrator’s house, the narrator moves to Tyler’s house and they become very good friends.
With the leadership of Tyler, they form their own secret society called Fight Club, where young and middle-age males fight with each other and feel relieved of their frustrations. The popularity of the club grows incredibly and soon new Fight Club groups are founded everywhere. Tyler Durden becomes a cult hero and he is successful in impressing hopeless people with his ideological speeches. Tyler rails, “Our generation has no Great Depression, no Great War. Our war is spiritual war. Our depression is our lives”. He criticizes the capitalist system and consumerism. “You are not your job. You are not your money in your bank account”.
Also, Tyler, the narrator and Marla get involved in a love triangle. Tyler and his followers (members of Project Mayhem) prepare a big plan called “Project Mayhem” in order to destroy all banks, financial sector buildings and to make people free and equal by resetting all bank accounts. While all these events are happening the narrator always stands aside from Tyler and we finally understand that Tyler Durden is the unconscious side, the shadow of the narrator that takes control of the narrator’s conscious.
After realizing this, the whole movie makes more sense for the audience and we better understand the situation of the schizophrenic protagonist of the movie played brilliantly by Edward Norton. The narrator in the final scene kills Tyler in his mind but he cannot save the banks and credit card companies to be exploded.
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