Article | Remembering ‘Fight Club’, one of David Fincher’s most popular films
Gentlemen: welcome to Fight Club.
Say that David Fincher is a genius is to fall into as much redundancy as possible within the film industry. In his career, the filmmaker has produced incredible works, such as ‘Zodiac’, ‘Se7en – The Seven Capital Crimes’ and ‘The social network’in addition to having ventured into the series format with ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Mindhunter’. However, perhaps there is no other work as irreverent and controversial as ‘Fight Club’a story that crosses all aspects of the contemporary dialogic system in a completely original and dynamic perspective – the director’s own brand.
Restricting this incredible feature film to one genre is a tricky thing to do, especially when looking at the multiple and complex layers that make up the microcosmic architecture we’re watching. The narrative revolves around two characters – one cleverly titled just The Narrator (Edward Norton), and the other who goes by the name of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). After meeting each other in an unlikely situation, involving a flight and accepting their fate in situations of impending chaos, the two end up coming together and creating a group that lends its name to the film’s title: Fight Club.
Rule #01: Don’t talk about Fight Club. Rule #2: Don’t talk about Fight Club.
To understand the series of visceral events that take place after the partnership between the protagonists, we need to understand that, like the architecture of the film itself, both are irreverent and represent a sudden break with the stereotypes that have taken hold in modern society. The Storyteller suffers from insomnia and desperately seeks to break out of his rut in order to sleep a wink at night, as his doctor refuses to give him pills and advises him to “exercise” for a better life. However, he knows that’s not what he needs – he needs a comfort that frees him from a possible cage still misunderstood by the public. This need to express himself and feel part of something emerges in the numerous support groups he starts to attend – Alcoholics Anonymous, Testicular Cancer, Compulsive Buyers, among others -, pretending to have countless traumas to be able to share with his new “friends”.
Like it or not, he ends up diving into a comfort zone that allows him to vent the frustrations of everyday life, until another figure appears to cause a disturbance in his “reign”: Marla Singer (the always welcome Helena Bonham Carter, in his best attempt to lose his thick British accent). Marla, like himself, is looking for ways to kill time, and the two seem to compete for the attention they get from the people in the groups. However, she is much bolder and more rebellious than her accomplice, never worrying about what others think and living at the expense of codes of conduct.
It’s amazing and at the same time congruent how the destiny of the three characters goes in the same direction. Their distinct and paradoxically almost symbiotic personalities are the main basis for the search for something that allows the human being – a carcass created by the system, as Tyler says – to vent all the frustrations that he carries since the day of birth and recreate himself, increasing his resilience. in the face of obstacles and always looking for a “chaotic order” that goes against the ephemeral social peace. It is from there that Fight Club emerges and establishes itself as a promising cult that spreads to several cities in the United States, recruiting countless members who wish to meet again in the midst of the daily castration they suffer. Marla, despite not being a member of the group, can be understood as the apex to be reached, since she lives her life without rules, but with ideals imposed by herself.
“I wanted to destroy something beautiful.” This sentence, uttered by the Narrator at a given moment, is the harbinger of a free fall that symbolizes the failures of the search for full freedom. One of the rules for club participation is to understand when it’s time to stop – in case your opponent faints or gives up. Norton’s character is pushed to the limit by his partner’s extreme rebelliousness, and he takes out this growing angst in the ring, literally breaking Angel Face’s face (Jared Leto) even after he considers you the winner. “Destroying something beautiful” does not only remain on the primary level, but abstracts itself to the decaying concept of what they created. After all, a la ‘Frankenstein’s Monsterthe duo’s utopian idea seemed free of imperfections on paper, but proved to be dangerous and hopeless, especially considering that Tyler had ulterior motives in recruiting his “soldiers”.
‘Fight Club’ It is an extremely metalinguistic film. Whether it’s Norton’s blasé narration or unusual fourth wall breaks, the narrative develops in the same way as ‘Citizen Kane’, creating its own chronology that converses with its viewer, at the same time that it brings an understandable logic. The montage is not only concerned with maintaining the classic decoupage, but using its elements to transgress it, especially with the juxtaposition of shots in different locations, but which maintain the same identity. Fincher also adds his touch with the numerous long-shots that scrutinize the 150 minutes of narrative, providing an expanded perspective on claustrophobic places.
The fighters’ “meetings” take place in the basement of a run-down bar, not much bigger than the living room of a townhouse. The camera movement and the aesthetic conception, which mix between open and closed shots, have a beauty that transcends the narrative universe and transports those who watch to a unique experience. In addition, the imagery architecture is dark, with a play of light that emphasizes the outlines of the characters, giving them individuality (especially in the first act), but which gradually blends them into the dirty and eaten-up scenarios, making them a mass of beings. who fight for the same ideal. And the most ironic thing is that Tyler, the great creator, is always adorned with flashy colors – red, pink or orange – to stand out from the crowd while reaffirming his egalitarian speech.
‘Fight Club’ it’s a drama. A comedy. A satire, an originality of cinematographic narrative that manages to mix different opposite genres in a visceral masterpiece that is definitely not concerned with what it shows, but with the multiplicity of reactions and reflections to be carried out by the audience. I cannot say that there is a fixed completeness and understanding in this narrative, because with each new approach, other possibilities of interpretation open up – and, well, it is not for nothing that this is a film by Fincher (irreverence itself).
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