Fight Club Analysis

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Date Submitted: 03/31/2009 03:42 AM

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Fight Club by David Fincher, USA/GER 1999

A thirty year old car insurance agent, Jack, (Ed Norton) suffers from insomnia. To try and solve his problem he decides to start attending supporting groups for people “in real pain” (e.g. testicular cancer): his problem seems to disappear, but as soon as a hypochondriac girl, Marla Singer, (Helena Bonham Carter) shows up he can’t sleep anymore. While on a flight for job, he meets the puzzling Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), whom he calls when he finds out that his flat has been destroyed by a gas leak. Tyler asks Jack to hit him, and then they start to fight. In the following nights, after Jack’s move into Tyler’s crumbling house, other people join them, so they decide to start a “Fight Club”. Soon “fight clubs” are opened all over the country. Then Marla shows up again and starts a relationship with Tyler: soon after that, “Fight Club” evolves, leaded by Tyler, into “Project Mayhem”, which embraces a series of sabotages to symbols of modern life alienation. When a member of Tyler’s army is shot dead, Jack starts flying around the country to find Tyler, who left him alone, and stop the project, which consists in the bombing of several corporation buildings. He finds out that the network behind “Project Mayhem” is very big and capillary. He succeds in eliminating Tyler, but it’s too late to stop the operations: the only thing he can do is watching the explosions together with Marla, to whom he has finally declared his attraction.

One of David Fincher’s merits is doubltless the ability to reveal to the world that Brad Pitt can act: in “Fight Club” he builds up one of the most powerful American anti-heroes since the times of Hitchcock’s Norman Bates. His character, Tyler Durden, an “outsider” who lives in a crumbling house, plays creative acts of sabotage to the film and restoration industries and considers himself and everyone else “the singing and dancing crap of the world” is the necessary counterpart to Edward Norton’s...