Fight Club is that kind of film that bottle up your thoughts. Yet at the same time, the movie presents a realistic view of what the new millennia is all about today. Fight Club has many layers to it which leave a lot of room for interpretation. But at the end the rate at which, your mind can explode to a whispering “Holy Fuck! I did not see that coming” is pretty high.
We are presented with Edward Norton, who plays the sleep deprived, baggy eyes Narrator, a slave to the corporate world. His mundane life is so dull that he seems to have fallen in a limbo of sleeplessness. His only way, which he finds out, is solace in crying at various support groups. It’s a bit ironical, as people in support groups shed tears because they want to survive, whereas Norton’s character cries to actually “get” some sleep. While he does achieve his goal, something he terms as “baby sleep”, its short lived.
Enter the cynical Marla Singer, played by the effervescent Helena Bonham Carter. Ms Singer cares two cents about which support group she goes to or who is a part of it. Why would anyone, if their sole aim is free food and coffee. The Narrator, who labels her as a “Tourist” knows right away she is a fraud. Like him, she attends them all, which starts having a profound effect on his sleep as he feels she is sabotaging his rituals to get some. Though she could have been used to a much larger extent, Carter’s character is the main catalyst to the climax of the movie.
Till this point, the viewer gets a notion that it’s probably the narrators dream. That he will snap out of it. Only to be further engrossed into the movie by Tyler Durden whom the narrator meets on one of his office business trips (which is what we are made to believe about the frequent flights taken by Norton). Tyler Durden is your charming, flirtatious looking street smart Soap maker/seller. And the suave Brad Pitt does complete justice to the role. What starts with a simple conversation about them having same briefcase turns into an intelligent conversation with Norton referring to Durden as a friend in the first meeting itself.
This is where the movie starts taking a U turn towards getting interesting and getting you hooked. The Narrator meets up with Durden once again, the same night, to get a place to crash as his well decorated, ready to impress house is up in flames, something he attributes to a leakage. After seeking refuge in Tyler’s so called house, which is an ill looking abandoned bungalow in a deserted vicinity of Paper Street, their nights are spend at bar, where one night, they get into a fight. The fight becomes a habit for them and attracts the attention of other locals who frequent the bar. What started out as fun kind of hobby, becomes a full illegal underground Fight Club, with rules. The rules are simple, but the first and the second one; basically the same is “YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB”. Men join, get into fight. Men from all occupations, size, and height take part. Fight Club appears to be a rejuvenation kind of activity club. Which it is. Until it’s time for Project Mayhem.
Project Mayhem, is where you realize, fight club is not a rejuvenation sport club, but a squad in making. Fight Club turns out to be an organization which may attribute its roots to the Marxist ideology of “workers of the world unite”. Norton, slightly aware of the mishaps and terrorist like activities opposes it all. Only to realize that Tyler has vanished into a poof and that Norton is addressed as the leader.
The final Jigsaw piece is put when the Narrator realizes that Tyler is, wait – for – it, he himself. Brad Pitt’s character is a figment of his own thoughts, his alter ego or bluntly put his better self. What the narrator thinks he wants to do and what is better is, presented in the form of Tyler Durden. Case of Schizophrenia gone way out of hand if you must say. But a very well planned and informed psychotic mind.
With amazing direction from David Fincher, who gives us scenes with loopholes like the one where the Narrator realize Marla and Tyler are never seen together or even in the same room is something for the extraordinary mind to catch on. Also, his frequent business trips mean Project Mayhem and creating armies all over. The sequencing maybe overlapping but it is easily broken down in the end with the revelation of the twist in the plot. Then the movie makes all sense.
The tagline – Mischief, Mayhem, Soap, each are very essential words or rather words that sums up the movie in perfect ascending order. Mischief which becomes the assignment in Fight club for Project Mayhem and ending the Mayhem with explosion made from Soap. Soap, which Tyler makes from fats stolen from liposuction clinics, of rich women and in return selling it to them, there by depicting the way corporate work in real life. Soap, also used to make explosives, is what the end is all about. Blowing up credit card companies from fats of rich people could be start of some proletariat revolution.
The movie paints a realistic picture of the people, “we work jobs we hate, to buy shit we don’t need, to impress people we don’t even like”. This movie is that realistic. Even the projection of the Narrator’s alter ego. The lanky, kind faced Norton is too simple to play the leader, hence we are presented with a more rugged, ruthless and convincing Brad Pitt. A man trying to fight, to take down the system by doing all illegal stuff in order to become something he has always wanted to be, maybe termed as a terrorist. But in Fight Club, your terrorist becomes my freedom fighter.
Fight Club, in all sense is wonderful, way ahead of its time in analyzing what people will eventually become and of that one local hero. This movie is a definite watch not only for its realistic action and character portrayal but also, the dialogues and experiences of been there done that feeling. If you haven’t watched it, then ‘you are Jack’s wasted life’.