Fight ClubStarring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham-Carter, MeatloafDirector: David FincherWriter: Jim UhlsBased on Novel By: Chuck PalahniukStudio: Fox StudioRating: R 18+Genre: Action, ThrillerRunning Time: 139 minutes approx.Filming Locations: Los Angeles and CaliforniaSpecial Effects:Many of the visual effects in Fight Club have been overshadowed by effect-based movies (LOTR, The Matrix) but upon closer examination I found that they were perfect in their own right. They depicted a chaotic sense of disengagement, not only from society but also from oneself. Two of the most technically advanced shot were CGIs (computer generated enhancements) of Jacks IKEA apartment.
One was a tracking shot, entering through the door and circling his apartment before zooming to a macro shot of the back of his fridge, that apparently contained a gas leak that in turn led to the demise of his apartment. The other apartment-based shot was almost comical, a shot circling through his apartment labelling his designer furniture and appliances, not unlike a magazine catalogue. Although not a breakthrough in the world of visual effects, when combined with the atmosphere of Jacks cynical, mundane voiceovers and brilliant cinematography it makes for an enchanting shot that gives a very true to life insight of the average material-bound American male.
Cinematography:Jack realises that Tyler was a creation of his own mind, in a feeble attempt to finally free himself from the restraints society places on him, a 360 pan circles him, getting more erratic and destabilised as it finally sinks in. Diversity is the key to Fight Clubs style of cinematography, in every aspect from the shot itself, to its point of view. From observing a security television monitor displaying Jack, coming to terms with his inner demon to Jack in a state of euphoria, were he is introduced to his power animal, a CG penguin that tells Jack simply to slide.
In another standout sequence Tyler gives Jack a severe chemical burn, and in hope of dismissing his raging pain Jack begins to mediate, where he refers back to his power animal before being slapped in the face and told Stay with the pain, Im giving you the f*ing experience of your life and your drifting in Tibet. He attempts to meditate again, and the viewer is subjected to a breathtaking contrast of near subliminal flashes that depict the characters personality, Jack with his initially light, harmless nature and Tyler, the extremist who adapts an all or nothing view of life.Acting:One cannot completely understand the capability of an actor unless there is a role to stretch their dramatic capabilities. This is evident in Fight Club, with Pitt and Norton delivering the performances of their lives. A gift to the acting world Edward Norton has landed a string of movies coming off Fight Club including The Score and The Red Dragon.
Brad has also outdone himself, despite the fact that he is playing a similar style role to many previous films, (13 Monkeys, Meet Jo Black), in that he is yet again a psychotic, misunderstood individual with an extremist point of view, a part that he plays so well.Sound Track:An amazing audio experience, Fight Club delivers as many punches with its music as it does with its fight scenes. The musical scores always compliment the moment perfectly, elaborating even more on the feeling the scene instils. In terms of modern music, Fight Club was slightly lacking although one track does stand out, namely The Pixies who deliver Where Is My Mind in the closing scene, which to me, summed up the film perfectly; With your feet in the air, and your head on the ground. Plot summary (brief):Told in flashback (after an incredible opening credit sequence where we follow a bead of sweat from inside Norton’s brain down his forehead), we discover that Norton’s character is an incredibly unhappy insomniac corporate drone. He refers to himself as a “30-year-old boy” and plunges into consumerism to feel, as he puts it, “complete,” buying and buying from various yuppie catalogues. Complaining to his doctor about his insomnia, he’s told to check out some 12-step cancer-patient meetings, to “see real pain.
” Attending anonymously, he gets the unconditional love and attention he wants and the opportunity to cry that he so desperately needs. He starts to sleep again, and he gets hooked, attending a meeting every night of the week. Then Marla (Bonham Carter) shows up.
She’s a “faker” like Norton and her presence points out his own deception to himself. He can’t sleep again, and it looks like the insomnia is worse than before.While on one of his many business trips, Norton meets Tyler Durden (Pitt), a sly soap-salesman and jack-of-all-trades with a unique taste in tacky clothes.
The two travellers hit it off and exchange cards. When Norton’s high-rise apartment is mysteriously firebombed, he turns to Pitt for help. Over a pitcher of beer, the two realize that they’re part of a generation raised to be vain, greedy consumers, and that they’ve been denied the life experiences that would transform them from boys to men. Finding out that neither has ever been in a fight, Pitt asks Norton to punch him. They start fighting, and realize that it makes them feel better, not so much the actual pain, but the willingness to take that risk. Their spar in the bar’s parking lot attracts other guys who want to join in. Fight Club is born, and soon begins to grow and mutate.
After he realizes the fight clubs are losing their effectiveness, becoming another support group, Pitt organizes Project Mayhem: a crusade to subvert and disrupt society, not so much through terror or violence but pranks and anti-corporate aggression. Jack has lost control once again begins a downward spiral that can only be stopped by the most drastic measure possible, killing a part of himself.Introduction (witty):REJECT THE BASIC ASSUMPTION OF CIVILIZATION, ESPECIALLY THE IMPORTANCE OF MATERIAL POSSESSIONS. This is the call to arms that Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) emits to his newfound best friend Jack (Edward Norton) and the later, the members of Fight Club and Project Mayhem.
Historical Background and Setting / Social CommentSelf-harm is taboo, it is unspoken and for the most part, it is misunderstood. This film is not only entertaining but it also raised public awareness. No doubt many people will buy into Tylers extremist point of view, if only for a short amount of time, but in this time they will understand what many people from all over the world feel constantly, an urge to fight authority, an urge to be individual and stop following the mainstream.
Tylers ideals may be summarised in one quote, You cannot truly be free until youve lost everything. This philosophy is perfect in theory; you are ridding yourself of restricting material possessions and all other things that bind you into society. Unfortunantly life isnt all theory and when an individual does lose everything they feel anything but free. This film was a wake up call to me and hopefully to many others, not only about the over importance we place on material possessions and the power they have over us, but the restraints that society places on us as well.Conclusion:A film worth seeing no matter what the occasion, Fight Club has a serious philosophical meaning for the deeper audiences and could still keep a person with the attention span of an ant entertained viewing after viewing.10/10