Fight Club

Fight Club ★★★★★

The Road to Mank! 4/10

"When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep... but you're never really awake, either."

Alright, now we're getting into some nitty-gritty about my film upbringing. This is going to sound cheesy, but Fight Club made me want to become a filmmaker. I know. I know. Throw me in with the others. However, please just... hear me out. I was fourteen, and I knew already that I loved film, but I was naïve; I had other dreams and aspirations that I would end up never going towards. Starting high school, Fight Club was in a major blind spot, and just by some mention of the film from some guy at my lunch table, I just decided to watch it. Little did I know, that night, I would discover a movie that would launch an obsession with this medium I do really love with all my heart.

I watched it endlessly through out those four years. Saturday night home alone? Fight Club. I've got friends over? Fight Club. I even put in on in the background during the nights when my insomnia was actually developing. It had, to say the least, left an impression. So what if I was the average film high school guy who's favorite movie was Fight Club? So what if I was too young to really even understand it? It was the first film I really felt I loved looking back. It may sound a bit silly, but it's true. I mean, yeah, I grew out of that phase. I went on to have other favorites. It was just kind of that movie that faded into the background of my own personal cannon and after high school I think I only watched it once or twice in college? I'm pretty sure today was the first time I had really given it a full watch in over five years - and it was like watching it for the first time all over again.

Fight Club is a film where I believe Fincher started to develop his more sarcastic sensibilities. It's a snarky and overly ironic film that may feel like indulgent and self-serving to some, but to me, it adds to the overall chaotic tone of the entire feature. Fincher somehow makes Ed Norton's life turning into a living hell both absolutely hilarious and compelling, you also have Brad Pitt in this movie that drips both waste and sex as he strolls around in a tank-top slathered with porno-mag covers. Ozzy and Harry. Abbott and Costello. Heads and tails. The movie gets all it's kinetic and manic nature from the magnificent chemistry of these two actors. Then there's Helena Bonhom Carter in possibly my favorite performance from her. Her Marla Singer brings a much different life to the film than both Norton and Pitt. A character who should be as iconic as Tyler himself, Marla is an impulsive, rock bottom person who knows her place in the world, and she's going to make what she wants of it. She treats it as unpredictable as she is.

Outside of the performances, the film's ironic spin on consumerism culture in the late 90s is layered and fun to dig into almost every time. I feel differently about this every time, but I feel Fincher is talking about the hold consumerism culture has on gender norms in general. We buy things to feel more manly, but they don't ever make us feel manly. Capitalism has left them feeling emasculated because of something society tells them is impotence. So we talk it out; we fight it out; we fuck it out. Anything that can make us feel like a man again.

But it's okay not to be manly. I feel Fight Club is saying mainly that masculinity is almost unneeded in today's society. Mixed in consumerism, it's made us feel cold, lonely, small, and unworthy. Almost like a boot crushing us with the heel. Fight Club is also here to give it to you straight; Your boss isn't your friend, neither are the cops, or these people who tell you they know what you need and who your friends are. The people who make you feel like like if all about control. But it isn't. Sometimes you have to swallow what you can't control. You boss hates you? Whatever. That girl from the bar gave you a fake number? You'll find someone else. You're feeling like less of a man because you don't have what commercials are telling you to have? Then go fight someone.

"It's only after we've lost everything, that we're free to do anything"

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