It didn’t always come up in discussion, but whenever it did, a lot of people asked me if I had watched Fight Club. The first time I was clueless as I told them I hadn’t. This spurred a reaction that almost made me feel ashamed. But then, as years passed, I got used to it. I promised myself I’d watch it someday and tailored my reaction to people’s reactions accordingly. ‘What’s the big deal?’ I’d think to myself, inwardly perplexed.
Years ago, I had no means to watch the movie. In recent years, I did have the means, but somehow couldn’t. Call it laziness, call it what you will, but Fight Club was really not on my priority list for a long list of reasons. ‘I know, I know, it’s blasphemous. I will watch it. I have the movie,’ I’d say to people calling me out for committing this crime.
Despite all this, I did come around to finally, finally watching this classic. And now that I have, I understand the years and years of people staring at me like I was mad for not having watched Fight Club. I did question my sanity for not having watched it earlier.
It starts with the narrator (Edward Norton) telling his story of insomnia and how he deals with it: support groups. And when things start to go awry, he blames it on Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter in one of her amazing, quirkiest roles to date). Then, he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), who helps him get through his insomnia and his other issues. Oh, and Durden is also having a thing going with Singer, which leads to the narrator being sort of disgusted and then in turn leaving Singer disgusted, for a number of reasons.
Tyler and the narrator start a Fight Club, a club which every member is prohibited from talking about. (Yet here I am!) They risk their lives to feel pain and bring back life into their days. Twisted, yes, but understandable to an extent that I cannot explain. And then the feral junket starts, resulting in a mind-blowing, mind-bending revelation, even more than what Stephen Strange can offer.
Basically, I don’t have to tell the story, because it’s a cult classic. But I’m so in awe of the concept and then way it was executed that I cannot help going through the timeline again in my head and in words!
If there’s such a thing as imagination, Fight Club has it in droves. Master director David Fincher is a genius at adaptation. When you watch Chuck Palahniuk’s prose come to life on screen, it becomes more of an addictive thrill than anything else. The screenplay, the acting (Pitt and Bonham Carter, specifically), and the story – everything makes for such a compelling movie that it is difficult not to be drawn in. It makes you feel alive with the wildness that rushes through your veins every second of the screenplay.
Films need plots par excellence to be able to make it to the top, even if they have a just less than excellent ending. But Fight Club has both. While the plot is a wild roller coaster, the climactic revelation is a powerful punch in the gut, a gust of wind that refreshes you and leaves you stumbling for balance at the same time, and a force that almost destroys you from within thanks to how unbelievably amazing it is.
In the end, I don’t care how many rules I am breaking. I know films like Fight Club need to be talked about as much as possible, thanks to the issues they raise. Mental illnesses need to be treated the right way, without being ridiculed and looked at contemptuously. Even in this day and age, mental illnesses are looked down upon – a mentality that needs to be cured more than anything in the whole wide world.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Picture in featured image courtesy: flore-maquin.com!