Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review of Fight Club

A+ (10.0)

Where to begin? Just 10 hours ago, I was watching Fight Club where it was the first time I had watched an R rated movie (just to let you know, this was in Australia and you have to be over 18 to watch). So it was high time that it was the one of the last movies I had bought at the rental store before I moved houses.

David Finch's masterpiece starts off with Edward Norton as the nameless Narrator. He is the voiceover in here where he suffers insomnia, his exhaustion from work and is under the influence of IKEA in his spare time. He also visit social groups where he pretend to suffer from testicular cancer or any other remedy to experience the suffering of victims where he meets Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) who like him go to these groups to feel pain inside victims.

When the dude meets with a soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) they bond together when the Narrator's condo was bombed. Once they did, Tyler seduces him to hang out at a rundown place, form a Fight Club and things spiral out of control for the Narrator. Fighting was a man's sport where seeing people being beaten to a pulp was fun.

Comparing this film to current trends is almost easy. These days we fight when we are drunk and somehow women are joining the fight to be beaten up. Now we are becoming an immoral and dumb society. But Fight Club is a movie not for the faint hearted even it is a classic. It is one of these movies where like A Clockwork Orange or Sin City to show violence as to bring up a point.

Fight Club is a generation-defining movie. It is a psychological thriller handled by Fincher with great grit. It is conceptial at every level with the issues explored. It's Fincher's main style of direction where his subject matter is the main instinct and flair where his movie would work.

Fight Club is based on deception, insomnia, masculinity, betrayal and sacrifice and most importantly... the mind. Even consumerism where there is a lot of product placement for IKEA which was the subject brand.

It's visually entertaining from the opening sequence and to the cinematography. But more importantly the violent elements of the film especially the fight scenes are disgusting at first but then you realise that the violence shows the total anarchy of men who do it to feel like they are real men.

Edward Norton deliver a visceral performance as The Narrator who we would feel for him. We know that he is an insomniac. We know he goes to social groups for a living so he could give sympathy to victims and to feel pain. We know that he is a 'slave' from IKEA because it would represent who he is. HE is someone who defines a zeigiest feeling in every male Xer. His life is changed because of Tyler Durden, who is someone you can become if your dreams had never made an impact towards life. If you want to become desired, you should be anti-social and self destructive like Durden.

Speaking of Durden, this is Brad Pitt's greatest role. Durden is socially irresponsible. He put porn on your movies when you go to the cinema. He pisses on your food. He put fat in your soap. He doesn't care for himself and everybody looks at him as the person they want to be because of his anti-social behaviour, his leadership turning America into fascist wannabes. In the end, you will hate Durden, but at the same time, you want to applaud him.

Shot in every technique that makes this look like a film noir, Fight Club is expansive and witty. It is a commentary of how today, the testoterone of men wants to be in the destruction of society if it rages. It is what men feels if they don't have power or are weak.

The fact that there is a lot of gay overtones, it makes the movie so much edgier and challenging. There's also some humour that is blackly funny if you've listen closely to the dialogue. Even the soundtrack. It is so pretentious and eerie it almost reminds me of the scores Trent Reznor had done for The Social Network

The main highlight of the movie is the final 30 minutes. THe final confrontation between Brad Pitt and Edward Norton is so fusing and the ending is so twisted you'll either realize how unpredictable this movie is or you've just got confused. It moves from one direction to another.

When I look at Fight Club, I kinda wondered whether this movie is so familiar with The Social Network, Fincher's recent material. It is zeigeist, both soundtracks are similar and the characters are also similar, however adds to the fact that David Fincher is Hollwood's most innovative filmmaker.

Fight Club is a bit of mess which is one thing that almost makes this a perfect movie. At the end of the day, Fight Club is a favourite because of the violence, but then you realise that it's about the characters, the opinion of their worlds and the violence that only adds to the appeal.

One of my favourite movies before the end of the millenium

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