In David Fincher’s black comedy drama Fight Club Edward Norton narrates his own story as a dysfunctional white collar worker trapped in a life devoid of any meaning or fulfilment. Depressed with his mundane isolated existence in a job which neither challenges nor inspires him, he continues to drifts through each day feeling lost and disillusioned. Unable to sleep he attempts to gain satisfaction and solace from his hum drum existence by decorating his world with every conceivable accessory from the Ikea catalogue. In an effort to cure his insomnia he buys furniture that he believes defines him as an individual, however this does little to provide any sense of purpose to his already dull life.
A visit to see his doctor ends in disappointment when he is refused treatment and dismissed as some kind of manic hypochondriac. He pleads to his doctor that he is in pain. The unconcerned physician proposes if he wants to see what real pain is he should visit a men’s testicular cancer support group. Taking his doctors comments literally he visits the group of sufferers who automatically assume that he him self is stricken with the disease. He discovers that in the safe environment of emotional support he can unburden his problems in a self cleansing pouring out of emotion, which miraculously cures his insomnia. The new found solution to all his troubles turns into an addiction to support groups. He quickly starts to attend every group imaginable, from substance abuse and parasite infestations to tuberculosis. Anything will do!
Just when all his problems seem firmly behind him the dark and sultry chain smoking Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) turns up, a tortured soul who believes the tragedy of her existence is that she’s still alive. To his dismay Marla starts to shadow his movements by attending the very same groups. Things quickly revert back to normal for the troubled insomniac. With another dishonest faker present it only reflects and amplifies his spurious deceit and web of lies. The insomnia returns.
Upon taking a business flight he finds him self sat next to the fast talking and charismatic Tyler Durden, (Brad Pitt), a travelling soap sales man. Tyler hands over a business card after making an impression. It would seem from there on both men’s destinies are linked when in a twist of fate an explosion at the Ikea furnished apartment renders its occupant homeless. In an act of desperation he calls Tyler who is quick to respond to the plight of his new found friend, generously offering to put a roof over his head.
Tyler’s mischievous and peculiar nature soon starts to surface when he eagerly asks “I want you to hit me as hard as you can”. The two men find a common obsession with fighting that feeds their testosterone charged egos. They discover that their new past time has broader appeal than they first realized when others are drawn to the idea. Tyler uses a run down basement at Lou’s Tavern to start a secret underground fight club where willing participants can test their courage and masculinity with their bare knuckles by literally slugging out the pressure and stresses of every day life. Mayhem and anarchy rain as Tyler’s grip tightens over his devoted followers turning the fight club into a type of paramilitary organization bent on chaos and destruction. It’s should be of no surprise that the seductive Marla again enters the fold to turn the heat up and add to the complicated ever increasingly strange plot.
Superb Story And Acting
Fight club certainly caused a stir when it was released with its provocative issues mixed with a blend of black comedy and satire making this a controversial movie. Director David Fincher dared to endeavour in making a highly original film that dealt with serious issues such as terminal illness with a dark comedic script. Norton and Pitt are both magnificent with strong performances in their roles as two of the most complex characters you can watch on the screen in years.
Norton’s character narrates through out the full movie giving the audience an insight into his thoughts and emotions. The dominant and manipulative Tyler Durden takes full advantage of the week and vulnerable insomniac along with his ever growing army of deviants. However, his playful mischief is steadily realized through out the film as being of a more sinister intent as his cruel mind games become increasingly bizarre and sadistic. There are some superb supporting performances from Helena Bonham Carter as the morbid and sensual Marla and Meat Loaf who plays Bob, a testicular cancer victim.
Fight Club is a fascinating and unique film with plenty of twists and turns making it an engaging mix of humour and thought provoking drama. Director David Fincher makes good use of visual effects and like Tyler plays a few mind games of his own with the audience. You may be forgiven for thinking that some of the trickery represents a problem with the transfer, but on closer examination it’s something entirely different giving the viewer a unique insight into the insomnia stricken world of the narrator. The film has a gritty realistic feel with some wonderfully dark and eerie photography creating the perfect back drop for its characters.
Its appeal will not extend to everyone. The Mary Whitehouse brigade for one will perhaps dismiss this movie as a perverse mix of gratuitous violence. Personally I thought this was one of the most extraordinary and original films I’ve watched for a long time. A brilliant and intelligent script with an exceptional cast creating a truly absorbing piece of cinema.
Unfortunately most of the material automatically engages Korean subtitles, but don’t despair! The subs can be easily turned off and are not burnt on the screen. First up there’s a behind the scenes section, with three sub-sections entitled ‘Production’, ‘Visual effects’ and ‘On location’. It’s good to watch that Fox have utilized and taken advantage of all the technology DVD has to offer on these sections giving the viewer a choice of angle and audio tracks with commentary and story boards. The Production section has alternate main titles, together with Air port, Jack’s Condo, Paper street house, Projection booth and corporate art Ball features. The visual effects section covers the main titles, furniture catalogue, Ice cave ‘power animal’, Photogrammetry, Mid-air collision, Sex sequence, car crash, gun shot and high rise collapse.
There’s also seven fascinating deleted and extended scenes complete with some short production features and explanations as to the how the decisions were formed to make the necessary cuts and changes. The Publicity section comes with three trailers, two amusing public service announcements from Jack and Tyler specifically produced for theatres, 5 online spots, Dust Brother’s music video, promotional gallery of still images including lobby cards, press kit, and Edward Norton’s interview transcript. Just in case that wasn’t enough for you there’s a cast and crew biography section and finally an art gallery with story boards, visual effects stills, brain map ride, pre-production paintings, costume & makeup and paper street house art work.
Fight Club is a brilliant movie that offers a top notch presentation that includes an impressive list of extras. If you don’t already own a copy of this film I can highly recommended you to watch Fight Club online free. I’m sure the majority who already own this title will see little point in up grading and will be happy enough to stick with their Dolby Digital copies. I’m afraid that DTS fans out there will have to scour the sites online if they wish to add this one to their collection.