This weekend I learned two very important rules. Rule number one: do not talk about Fight Club. Rule number two: do NOT talk about Fight Club. Eh, forget that, I’m going to talk about Fight Club. Another one of those movies that I’ve heard people hold in high regard, and I must say I can see why.
Our movie opens at the end, the protagonist/narrator in a chair with a gun in his mouth. Who it is that’s holding him hostage, we don’t yet know. Now the film rewinds a bit. Our narrator (played by Edward Norton) is a traveling recall man with insomnia. In order to cope with his condition he begins to go to therapy session for groups that he doesn’t really belong in: men with testicular cancer, tuberculosis, hepatitis, kidney disease, and so on. As he becomes a part of these sessions he finds emotional relief and can now sleep again. Eventually he notices another person that is a faker at all these meetings, a woman named Marla, and suddenly knowing that there is another faker takes away the narrator’s newfound sense of relief. So the narrator pulls her aside, they exchange numbers, agreeing to attend different meetings at different times and dates so they were not appearing in the same places, and then that’s it. We don’t end up seeing Marla for a while after this.
Later on, on his way back from a business trip, the narrator meets a man named Tyler Durden (good ol’ Brad Pitt), a soap salesman. They exchange some small talk, Tyler gives the narrator his card, they get off the plane, and then Tyler takes off. Another person that seems to just be in and out of our narrator’s life, just like that.
However, as the narrator returns home he finds that his apartment has gone up in flames, destroying everything he had. At this point he is faced with a decision: does he call up Marla, or does he call Tyler? In the end he calls up Tyler, tells him what happens, and they go out for some drinks. At the end of the night, Tyler asks the narrator to punch him as hard as he can. Confused and hesitant at first, the narrator eventually slugs Tyler in the side of the head, to which he responds by hitting the narrator in the gut. And the narrator enjoys it, enjoys the pain. They begin to have an all out fight, and at the end they say that they should do it again some time.
So Tyler and the narrator go on and continue to have their fights outside of the same bar, night after night, and over time this draws the attention of others, all of whom want in on the fighting. Together the duo decide that instead of using the parking lot out back that they would use the bar’s basement to host their sparing. And thus begins the Fight Club. As time goes on Fight Club grows, and more fight clubs start popping up around the country (it’s hard to say whether or not they are coming up on their own or if Tyler is traveling around establishing them). And as the numbers grow Tyler starts to take them in a darker direction.
I won’t say more because from here on the film just keeps ramping up, and I wouldn’t want to spoil the rest of the plot points.
Fight Club was a great film to watch. It told an interesting and exciting story that kept me asking questions the whole way. The duo of the narrator and Tyler Durden act as a beautiful yin-yang throughout the movie. Tyler is constantly pushing the narrator further and further out of his normal life, and we slowly see the narrator changing. On top of that, the best part of Fight Club were the psychological aspects of it, how we see the narrator dealing with his insomnia in the beginning as well as some more crucial plot points that occur later down the line.
Is it a classic? Quite possibly. At the very least I recommend that you go see this movie. It’s an exciting ride that holds you every minute.