Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fight Club *1/2

I am Edward Norton's soon-to-be-fired agent.


After a lot of figuring I understood where Fight Club got it’s cult audience. They were interested mainly in the twist, which is very well pulled off. I was a little surprised by the twist. I think the reason behind this is that if you rewatch the film it makes almost no sense. This confused film is not without the occasional plus, however. It also features 3 very good performances by Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and especially Helena Bonham Carter. But David Fincher’s direction takes this film from one random place to another. Is Edward Norton trying to stop Fight Club at the end, and, if so, why does he not care when they succeed? How come an army of fascists train not to obey a single thing he says suddenly releases Helena Bonham Carter? Why are people inspired to join Fight Club after watching Norton beat himself up? How does Norton shoot himself in the head and survive? How does he hear himself having sex with Carter upstairs while making coffee, and a second later, pass the room and watch himself having sex? What is the political nature of fight club? It starts out socialist “we are the people who do your laundry…” and turns fascist, and we never know what exactly they are trying to accomplish. They don’t want to hurt anybody, they just want to blow stuff up. Why? Is Fincher encouraging this kind of behavior or discouraging it? Does he think his audience will be able to tell the difference? Throughout the film, bad rock music blares angrily (and annoyingly) and Fincher overdoes the violence and gimmicky special effects.

Fight Club doesn’t really have anything to say. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not particularly interesting or entertaining either and I found myself getting tired of Tyler Durgen’s fight club. Only when the twist happened did the movie become interesting. But then I immediately realized: don’t insane people refuse to accept they are insane? How does Norton even realize he has a split personality? I’d have to consult a psychologist about this, but I don’t think it’s possible. But Fincher probably doesn’t know either – any film where a character can survive shooting himself in the forehead to get rid of his split personality doesn’t seem interested in getting caught up in details.

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