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Saturday, October 25, 2014

"Fight Club" – A Movie Review

Xavier Lu & Ian Liao

Fight Club is a drama starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter. It is about an insurance salesman who has no passion or motivation and how his life changes dramatically when he meets a mysterious stranger.
Poster courtesy Fight Club official Facebook page:
There are two main characters in this movie, The Narrator and Tyler Derton. The Narrator is a car insurance agent. His life is boring, and he can’t find anything he would like to pursue. His only interest is buying IKEA furniture. His insomnia is so serious that he can never have a natural sleep. One day, his doctor refuses to give him sleeping pills and suggests that he go to a support group so that he will learn that there are others who are worse off than he is. At the support group, he gets lots of relief and can finally sleep like a baby.

On a business trip, he meets Tyler Derton. They have totally different personalities and characteristics, but they have the exact same briefcase. They become roommates and later start a group together, a fight club, with Tyler as the leader. In the fight club, members fight each other to relieve the stress in their lives, but they are forbidden from talking about the fight club outside of their meetings and contests.

After a while, the fight club becomes bigger, and turns into violent gang that causes a lot of crime. The Narrator finds himself losing control over his life because of Tyler Derton and the club, so he decides to declare war on Tyler to take his life back.

This movie’s director, David Fincher, used many interesting filming techniques to show the contradictions in the story. In some scenes, we see Tyler suddenly appearing and disappearing; the director did this to give the audience a hint about the movie. The most brilliant thing he did was to not reveal the Narrator’s identity until the climax of the movie.

Tyler’s thinking and behavior were key points in this movie. In the middle of Fight Club, Tyler made a scar on the Narrator’s hand and said, “Without pain or sacrifice, we would have nothing. It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” The main message the movie gives us is, in Tyler’s words, “You are not your job. You are not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You are not the contents of your wallet. You are not your khakis. You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.” Therefore, what we learned from this movie is that material possessions can’t make us better, and that pursuing them shouldn’t be our life’s goal. The only thing that can push us to improve is challenging our limits.

This movie was criticized as a terrible movie when it was released in 1999. However, things changed after its DVD version came out, and many people watched it many times and discovered its greatness. So, if you want to watch this movie, we recommend that you should watch it twice. Enjoy it, and then think about it.

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