Fight Club, directed by David Fincher, is my favorite movie of all time because of its tough characters with interesting psyches, dreary mood, and surprise ending. The movie is based on a book of the same name written by Chuck Palahniuk, and was originally a disturbing short story about men trying to find a way to connect with themselves and others by anonymously fighting each week in a basement.
The unnamed narrator (Edward Norton) is an insomniac, and lives a life where the days run together. Although he never sleeps, he is also never fully awake and is often confused as he travels throughout the country for his job. His doctor tells him he doesn’t have much of a problem with the insomnia, but he begins to go to support groups for the terminally ill in order to feel alive again by pretending to be dying.
Soon, he and another man he meets by chance, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), start the fight club and begin to connect with other men in the community, and later the entire country. The men are not allowed to talk about the fight club in their daily lives, and therefore gain a secret connection with each other worth looking forward to each week. Meanwhile, Tyler begins an affair with Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), an antagonist who is also attending support groups in which she doesn’t belong. The club members begin to act out of control by causing mayhem in the city, and the narrator can’t piece together the truth behind Marla’s relationship with Tyler, as they never appear at the same time.
The overall theme of the movie is common and relatable. A man with an uninteresting routine is trying to understand his life, and wants to feel again. However, when the narrator tries to feel alive through physical pain and by surrounding himself with those that are dying, a unique plot is created.
The movie is also well done because the mood perfectly matches the characters and storyline. The narrator speaks slowly and sarcastically in a way that emphasizes his tired, lifeless insomnia. The movie is generally dark and dreary, and flashes of images appear in a single frame throughout the movie to make the audience feel as if they’ve missed something, or are imagining things in the way we do when we are exhausted. Although the film was less successful than was predicted in the box office, it gathered a loyal cult following after the release of the DVD, and the novel sales were rejuvenated.
Some aspects of the plot seem unrealistic and may distract the audience. As I was watching the club act out of control throughout the entire United States in a close web of connections, I had to remember that this story was being told from the perspective of a confused insomniac who is constantly travelling and never completely conscious.
Although the best part of the film was how the character relationships pieced together at the end, the movie is worth watching again even once the surprise is gone. Each line and scene is a deliberate piece of the overall message, and the characters believably throw us into a world where men need fight clubs.
The movie is heavily recommended to those who like psychological films with an interesting twist. Although the number one rule of fight club is that one mustn’t talk about it, the movie Fight Club is definitely worth mentioning.