Tuesday, 28 June 2016

''Fight Club'' (1999 film)- Review

Directed by: David Fincher
Released: 1999
Country: United States

Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf Aday, Jared Leto

Genre: Drama

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Theme-wise, ''Fight Club'' is a satire of the increasingly materialistic society of the modern world, the effects of isolation, how consumerism has taken away from human beings their souls and energy. Storywise, its a captivating psychological thriller that climaxes with something that is unpredictable and culminates in an unforgettable ending.

''Fight Club'' is basically the story of a narrator whose name we never get to know know, played by Edward Norton. Entangled in a monotonous corporate life, his life seems to revolve around the materialistic society of the present world, collecting expensive furniture and commodities to satisfy himself. His life feels dull to him, he feels monotonous, lonely and bored, and suffers from insomnia. He starts going to support groups pretty much everyday, finding out that the things said by those at the support group- cancer patients, for example- helps him to actually get a taste of life, as there he can find the soul that he feels is missing in the otherwise materialistic society.

The narrator's life changes the day he meets Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt. They meet on a plane. Tyler is a soap salesman. Finding out that his house has mysteriously caught a fire, the narrator moves in with Tyler, who he feels is a charismatic friend. He engages infistfights with Durden, finding it strangely entertaining. Very soon, seeing them fight in the streets, curious onlookers crowd around them, and, encouraged by their curiosity, Tyler and the narrator open a ''fight club'', an underground club where at nights, men meet and engage in fistfights. They feel as if fistfights are giving them solace and relief, and the narrator's life eventually changes as with the passage of time, things start getting out of control and he is not exactly sure about Tyler's plans anymore.

Important in the story is the character of Marla Singer, played by Helena Bonham Carter. The narrator had initially met Marla in the support groups he visited, and he had found out that like him, Marla also was not affected by any of the problems these support groups were for but rather frequented them because she wanted to. Things get messy as Marla starts a relationship with Tyler, much to the narrator's shock.

This is such a thought-provoking film, a film with excellent depth. It presents a story that is unpredictable and way too twisted. It is one of those films which, when watched for the second time, will have you see all the situations in a completely different way as you will be aware of the twists, allowing you to view the incidents in a whole new way.

Besides having an excellent story, the film is a social commentary and satire, a criticism of the materialistic culture prevailing in the modern world. At the beginning of the film, the narrator lives just another corporate life, trying to find happiness amidst furniture and appliances. Isn't this the major problem prevailing in the world today? People lacking souls and finding pleasure in commodities and appliances? I found the narrator a very believable character: entangled in the present world, living a monotonous and soulless existence. How can only commodities- not emotions- give someone a happy life? This is the major issue that the film tackles. Why are human bonds and emotions so ignored and avoided by many in the present world? Where the narrator truly finds relief are the support groups- where he cries hugging the people actually suffering from different problems- and experiencing these true emotions gives him solace. I appreciated the satire and the social commentary prevalent in the film from the beginning to the end.

Brad Pitt is unforgettable as Tyler Durden, and Edward Norton is amazing, really very amazing as the unnamed narrator. From the insomniac person at the beginning of the film, to the the person finding a different meaning in life, to the person realizing that something is wrong with what is happening around himself and figuring things out- leading to the big twist- he is perfect, simply perfect. Helena Bonham Carter- she is great, just great as Marla, a mysterious and strange woman.

''Fight Club'' can get a bit too violent at times, but the film is a must-watch. It is an exceptionally brilliant satire with a story that left me wondering and trying to interpret it in a lot of different ways.

4.5 out of 5  

No comments:

Post a Comment