Review of the David Fincher’s generation-defining magnum opus “Fight Club”
By Carter Bagley
1999 has gone down in history as one of the best years for film with some great movies released such as “The Matrix”, “American Beauty”, “The Sixth Sense”, “The Green Mile”, and “Being John Malkovich” but to me the greatest out of all of those is “Fight Club”. It’s told from the very odd perspective of the film’s unnamed narrator and main protagonist (Edward Norton) who we only know by the multitude of names he uses in the multiple support groups he attends. The interesting thing about this seemingly average-joe of a guy is that he doesn’t really have any of the things that these support groups are for but for whatever reason he finds peace at these meetings and they help him with his awful insomnia. He finds some euphoric relief in crying to these random strangers who think he has something he doesn’t. He’s also bored with his job as a traveling automobile recall specialist but his life changes when he bumps into the handsome, collected, and outspoken Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) on an airplane and they talk for a short time. However this brief encounter set in motion a chain of events that begin to unravel the narrators life and make for a mind-blowing, politically charged, and vividly entertaining movie. As he arrives back to his picture perfect Ikea apartment he finds out it’s engulfed in flames and as the fire is being investigated he decides to call up Tyler Durden to see if he can stay with him as the narrator has no family. He meets up with him at a bar and after some drinks and some talking they partake in a friendly brawl that draws attention to them and this sets the idea for the Fight Club they create that starts to grow in popularity and madness as the film goes on. I can’t even put this film into one singular genre because stylistically it’s kind of all over the place. It’s like if a psychological thriller was directed and edited as if it were a fast-paced action film, and it’s kind of a mixture of both of those genres. The characters are unique and brilliant including Tyler Durden who’s one of the most fascinating characters ever put to screen and Pitt gives his best ever performance as this insanely genius character. Edward Norton is also fantastic as we watch his character develop and change for better or worse throughout the course of the film. His odd romance with Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) is also very intriguing and hectic but you still see a connection between the two characters as their lives descend into strange and crazy territories. David Fincher’s directing is amazing as he foreshadows the film’s brilliant conclusion with some creative film techniques that you only really notice on multiple viewings. The screenplay by Jim Uhls based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorites of all time as some of the dialogue is truly mad yet very relatable all at the same time and the way the story is told and the way it concludes blew my mind on first watching. It’s endlessly quotable with lines like “this is your life and it’s ending minute at a time” or “it’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything”. I think that this film will go down in history as one of the best ever made or it should at least because it captures a message and a theme in a way that I’ve never seen any other film capture, it’s a truly remarkable film. It’s also one of the most misunderstood films in my opinion because people kind of dismiss it as an action film when they hear it but it’s so much more than that. I can only say this, every once in a while a film comes along that actually changes your perspective on the world and leaves an impact on you that can’t be undone; a handful of films have impacted me like that in my life “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “Back To The Future”, “Star Wars”, or “Taxi Driver” but “Fight Club” is a film that’s near the top of that list for me. The story builds up and gets hectic and you don’t know where it’s going but the big reveal and the almost perfect ending scene is one that will go down in the books.