The Second Rule of Fight Club is "You DO NOT talk about Fight Club".
Well, I am gonna break both of them and talk about it, because this movie is like my Punch Bag. Yes, the bag you hit repeatedly to remove your frustrations. It’s the movie I would watch when I am most frustrated, when I want to boil the scum of this earth and shatter every window I see. Yes, this cult classic is my Catharsis. Its one of the most brilliant and complex films of our generation - a cult of its own - Fight Club starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.
David Fincher - the director has stayed true to the book by Chuck Palahniuk, who must have been in one of his most devastating moods when he started his first book. Or probably his hatred for this Hypocritical Life we lead must have been at its Zenith. Whatever it may be, his passion for destruction, his frustrations, his knowledge of the forbidden and the trivial, come out in words as sheer vengeful literature. Yes, I would go so far as to say its modern or futuristic literature, modern philosophy. And the movie adaptation is equally powerful.
Fight Club is narrated through a Nameless character - he could be you, me or any person living this monotonous, routine life trying to go one up on his competition, trying to mimic the fashion, lifestyle, career of someone else, trying hard to be something he is not. This character works, buys every damn luxury item in trend and creates the ideal life - one he believes to be ideal, but he can't sleep. In insomnia - everything is a copy of a copy of a copy, everything is distant, you can't touch anything and nothing can touch you! He goes to various support groups faking to be terminally ill and in their misery he finds solace, happiness, blithe and indeed, sleep. Until, one day, another faker - Marla Singer comes into his life. She's the indigent, suicidal types. Then he meets Tyler Durden - who's everything he isn't, everything he wishes to be. Together they start Fight Club, their medium to channelise their pain, their frustrations and their fast track to nirvana. Every night they die and are born again, as new, invigorated men. Fight Club has 7 simple rules and its popularity grows; so does its reach - throughout America.
The story takes a twist when Tyler starts Project Mayhem. When the Club Fight sessions take an ugly turn, when the arena become the city, targeting the rich, the fortunate, the government, the system. Our nameless hero realizes that things have gone out of hand, but it is futile to resist, because this uprising consists of people who serve food, who do laundry, who protect people while they sleep; they are in the system to break it. He tries upsetting their plans, which he believes would have disastrous aftermaths, but the evil twist towards the end completely takes him off-guard. You yourself are thunderstruck with what happens because it transcends beyond your comprehension or belief. Finally, our Nameless Hero finds a way to suppress Tyler, once and for all, and save Marla - who he loves. But Mayhem continues, as Tyler successfully creates separate pockets of his army, completely capable of acting independently.
The performances are truly exceptional. Specially Edward Norton – our nameless protagonist. His sonorous voice gives depth and life to the sentences and his expressions are flawless. Brad Pitt revels as the leader of the rampage – the true radical Tyler Durden. Helena Bonham as Marla Singer is brilliant. The sound track adds to the fun and is fitting. But the most exceptional part is the direction- because Fincher puts many pieces - incidences in perfect order and tries to make sense, tries to bring sanity in the narration. The screen play has been changed a bit from the actual Novel, but both versions are equally amazing.
This Movie is a cult, because it’s a revolt against the things we take for granted. Tyler says "You are not the clothes you were, you are not the books you read, you are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are part of the same composite pile! " That’s philosophy for you. Give up all the worldly pleasure, give up your vices and only when you hit bottom will you truly be free. Only when you have given up everything, that you fear nothing. Only when you are close to death do you have a Near Life experience. I think so passionately about this that I could go on and on and on. The movie is full of amazing little fundas. Added to this, the narration is in a chaotic manner. The premise itself is chaotic and it’s accentuated by the dialogues. And within the chaos you find tranquility.
Many would find it complete and utter crap – the movie flopped because it hit a raw nerve - and many more would fall in love with it. After you watch the movie, you want to hit someone --> for completely different reasons. But that’s the point, either you love it or you hate it, but you can't ignore this piece of modern art. Get a hold of it and let your imagination go wild. I am sure one watch will make your mind work in the fight club mode. It’s the fight club effect. I myself stay in the Fight club mode for hours, sometimes days. Most of my best pieces of work come after a quick read of an inspirational excerpt from this book or after watching a scene from the movie. Enjoy complete mayhem. Enjoy.
"The first step to eternal life is you have to die" - ChUcK PaLaNiUk