Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fight Club - 7 stars out of 10

Fight Club - 7 stars out of 10

“Fight Club” is completely twisted, but I’ve learned to expect nothing less from director David Fincher.  While everybody seems to know the first rule of fight club (“The first rule of fight club is -- you do not talk about fight club”), many do not realize how much more there is to this movie than fighting.  Fincher’s narrative style and overwhelming amount of violence gives the film a unique tone that makes it easy to distinguish after just a few seconds.  The story touches on interesting themes like anti-materialism and observing/experiencing the pain of others to feel an emotional release.  The violence gets to be too much (downright gross at points) and there are some slow parts, but the film is notable for its strong acting performances and unexpected twist.  Edward Norton plays The Narrator, an everyman whose purposeful lack of identity fits perfectly into the story.  This transformative role allows Norton to play every emotion from numbness and apathy to anger and aggressiveness.  The Narrator’s generic nature makes it natural for him to latch on to Tyler Durden, a nonconformist played by Brad Pitt.  Pitt doesn’t have a transformation; rather, he shows Norton how to become a maverick that does whatever he wants.  Helena Bonham Carter provides the dynamic emotions but you can’t actually truly understand her character until you’ve seen the ending and rewatch the film.  While you only get to be shocked by the epic twist the first time that you watch, Fincher hides clues throughout the entire film that make it just as entertaining when you already know the surprise.  It definitely required higher level thinking to pull this one off.  Unlike many films that reserve the twist of the final few minutes, “Fight Club” reveals it early and uses the final portion of the film to resolve the conflict.  The most interesting part of the film is its cultural implications.  Like “A Clockwork Orange,” this film inspired crimes and violence across the country.  While I don’t advocate these copycat crimes, it speaks highly of the psychological impact that this film had on its viewers.  “Fight Club” is not a movie for everybody and I don’t necessarily “enjoy” it, but its significance to the film world is undeniable and its surprises will leave your heart pounding in the end.

[Pictured: Norton and Pitt have incredible chemistry from start to finish]

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