Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Straight away we dive into what is the best part about Fight Club, the plot. The reason I believe the plot of the movie is special and unlike most other films is because the plot commands audience engagement. You will feel that you’re actually witnessing these events happen because your perception of the plot changes how the movie moves forward for you, a sort of low budget ‘’Bandersnatch’’ if you will. The initial chemistry that is built up between Tyler and The Narrator leads the audience to believe that the two of them will start functioning as one unit, whereas the plot twist at the end reveals that they were dissociated personalities in the same body all along. If one were to draw a parallel, you could say the plot of the film depicted Tyler and the Narrator’s chemistry like that of the adult personalities that James McAvoy depicted in Split. However overall, the movie did end on a very open ended note vis-a-vis the plot, and the reason that is disappointing is because we do not understand where The Narrator’s inclination towards the blasts and Project Mayhem, rather than the aftermath of Project Mayhem. Overall, a well woven plot, which involved subtle plot twists, surprises, characters that were beautifully fleshed out as well as the major plot twist when we do find out Tyler Durden is a personality within The Narrator. (Score: 9/10)
Script writing plays a big part in the film, because the dialogues are what give the characters of Tyler and The Narrator that X-Factor which endears them to the crowd, and the same can be said for Marla. The evolution of the writing in the script fits the mood of the story as it proceeds, along with catalysing the character development beautifully. The best way to describe the nature of the script is to say that the fans love Tyler Durden because of the things he said, about how his dialogues felt not like predictions out of fortune cookies, but like the hard facts of life that everyone apart from the privileged few in this world have to come to terms with on a daily basis.
This area is a personal favourite for me in the movie, because unlike most films that involve characters with split personalities, Fight Club actually let the characters of The Narrator as well as Tyler Durden evolve and grow. From being a timid and invisible man working a white collar job at the start, The Narrator’s character arc turns him into someone fighting a huge conspiracy that has implications beyond anything that he could have imagined, alongwith dealing with the fact that it’s a part of him which is responsible for everything that is happening. Tyler’s character arc shows him grow from someone who has unwavering self-belief and thrifty ideas to someone who is able to imbibe that quality in, for lack of a better word, the masses along with turning from a man who used his thrifty nature to keep his life going and his dignity intact into a grand schemer and a leader of the masses by projecting his self belief and ideas onto his ‘’followers’’as Project Mayhem continues to take shape. As far as Marla Singer is concerned, I was a little disappointed as she was someone who could have played a much bigger role had the script written for her character had been a touch more expressive and involved in the bigger scheme of things, because it is no mystery that Helena Bonham Carter can work magic with a character like that.
While the movie comes from a different age of cinema compared to what we’re used to these days, it must be said that considering the equipment they had available at that time, the cinematography for the film is indeed worth noting. The most noteworthy part about the cinematography is the way camera angles are used throughout the entire film to enhance the steadily increasing gravity of the movie itself. On top of that, the fight scenes that we see in the movie show barely any evidence of ‘’shaky cams’’ which is huge plus point considering the fact the camera work for the action scenes is comparable to that of the John Wick series, which is a huge compliment in itself. (Score: 8/10)
Direction: It’s important to note that great acting performances need great directors as much as they need great actors, which is why David Fincher’s role in the making of this movie is extremely important. While the movie enthralled us with power packed performances from it’s actors, it’s just as important to remember that it was David Fincher who helped put these performances together, in a manner that they feel like they’re real, which is one of the major reasons the lovers of Fight Club, general population and critics alike, love the film, and David Fincher’s direction had a lot to do with it. To put it simply, David Fincher is to Brad Pitt/ Edward Norton what Christopher Nolan is to Heath Ledger and Todd Philipps is to Joaquin Phoenix.
Acting: Of course great direction is redundant if there aren’t great performers available, which luckily in this case wasn’t an issue whatsoever. Three actors, who have proven their mettle and shown their commitment to the roles that they are given before, during and after this film. Tyler Durden’s character was brought to life by what was a masterpiece of acting by Brad Pitt, everything from the slightest of expressions to the way Tyler spoke and his general body language is something that Brad portrayed. The same can be said for Edward Norton as The Narrator, as his performance as a man frustrated with his capitalist white collar job and the emotions he brought out are what made him the most relatable character in the film, while Pitt’s performance turned Tyler Durden into the man everyone wanted to be. As for Helena B. Carter’s performance, it is exactly what you would have wanted from her when she’s portraying a character caught in the middle of something that she doesn’t even know is happening around her, especially when that ‘something’ was Project Mayhem.
Score: The wall that I hit when I analyse the score of Fight Club is that the score in itself isn’t really as crucial to the film as much as say the dialogues and the cinematography are, hence I’m not very impressed with its incorporation into the film. However I have to give the Dust Brothers credit at the same time for being able to create a non-traditional score according to David Fincher’s wishes because only a score of that sort would be fit to use in a film that was as non-traditional as Fight Club. The reason I think fight club is problematic in this area is that I recognise the importance of score drawing you into the movie, or the scene, of which Interstellar (Or practically any movie in which Hans Zimmer is responsible for the score) is a brilliant example, however, this is not majorly prevalent in Fight Club. (Score: 7/10)
The most important area to prioritise when talking about fan/audience catering by the movie is what the fans predominantly expected out of the movie before it came out or when they first hear of it. Now considering the title of the movie, despite this being a very pedestrian train of thought the audience is bound to anticipate/desire good action/fight scenes, which is something that I do believe that the movie did justice to. Obviously the movie wasn’t a simple action movie, it was an Action/Thriller and hence it involved a lesser amount of action scenes but at the same time all of the scenes were extremely entertaining to say the least, from the actual fights in the ‘’ Fight Club’’ to everything involving and leading up to Project Mayhem’s culmination.
Psychological aspect of the movie:
Considering this is a genre specific category, I picked something which I thought is a very important aspect of any movie
in the thriller genre. On top, this is something that is probably the primary reason Fight Club is a movie that excites me no matter how many times I watch it, and that is because more than most things, the movie is about ideals, aspirations and the vision a man has for his life and how he perceives the world. This delectable dip that the movie takes into human psychology affords the viewer the freedom to create a perception and theory about the movie that is unique to themselves. This aspect of the movie encourages audience participation, which directly or indirectly is a way the movie envelops you and you feel li
ke you’re involved, which really is the best compliment you can give to most movies.
Fight Club is a movie that ticks nearly all my boxes in the Thriller genre, it has a psychological aspect that involves you, it’s got absolutely brilliant acting and direction, along with very good cinematography to compliment a beautiful plot. The only reason I don’t give Fight Club a perfect score here is because of the issues I had with the score, as I have explained previously.
Final score and impressions: So with an overall score of 8.5/10, Fight Club comes out as one of my reviewed movies with a high rating, or borderline very high rating. In any case, the rating should not distract you from the fact that Fight Club is a ‘must watch’ film, watch it the second you get the chance to do so, because you are in for one hell of an experience.
Karn Kasturi Sharma
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