Fight Club (1999)

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

Cast:  Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter

Fight Club

Edward Norton and Brad Pitt make for one of the best male duo onscreen leads ever.

When an unnamed, white collar, everyday man (Norton) finds himself at a dead end in life, he meets soap maker Tyler Durden (Pitt) and sparks up a friendship. The two create an organisation whereby they can relieve their aggressions in life and feel alive once again, Fight Club.

As more members join, Fight Club morphs into Project Mayhem and the organisation quickly spreads nationwide. Along with this, a dissolute women called Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) is bounced between both men, creating another dimension to the relationships in the film.

Fight Club is an extraordinary and revolutionary film, and one of my all time favourites.

There is so much I love about the film, it’s stylistic, smart, original and captivating. It swiftly moves along in pace and the narrative device is a brilliant touch, as is the script which is packed with fantastic dialogue and clever witticisms. The actors are quite simply superb, Norton and Pitt both bounce off each other’s energy and their chemistry is tight, just the way it needed to be. This is one of Norton’s best performances and I couldn’t imagine anyone else in Pitt’s role, the personality and aura of Durden that he captures is spot on. Carter is perfectly cast as chaotic and slightly off-balanced Marla and her performance throughout was magnetising to watch, I often think she would be like this in real life.

I can’t really find any faults with the film, although when Fight Club first hit theatres it received a lot of mixed reviews. Many comparisons were drawn between this and A Clockwork Orange due to its heavy use of violence and the worry that it can be seen to glorify it. If any acts of violence had followed the release of the film it would have undoubtedly been blamed on the content, just like it was 30 years prior to this with A Clockwork Orange. Both of the films were also based on books but to me, the most important comparison drawn would be that they both did something to cinema. They changed it for the better.

After watching Fight Club my levels of expectation regarding originality, concept and overall cinematography in film was raised. Both films were simply inspiring and different to others at the times of their release, each having a huge impact on society whether it was deemed positive or negative by the critics.

David Fincher directs the film, and what a fantastic piece of art he has created. Previously having directed Se7en and The Game, people were excited to see his artistic talents flare in another film. He confessed that he mixed the two styles of these films together and from it created Fight Club. From the second it starts the style is apparent, drained colours, clever camera positions and swift editing. Everything about the film is smart and enticing, even in the scenes that are unsettling you can’t help but watch.

The whole concept of this film is brilliant. It’s not just about the fighting as there is so much more that this film offers. I fully recommend it.

Star rating: 10/10

Directed by David Fincher.

Running time 139 minutes.

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