Fight Club (1999)

Topics: Fight Club, Narrative, Twist ending Pages: 6 (1812 words) Published: April 28, 2013
Fight Club (1999) effectively entwines the elements of narrative into a compelling and powerful work of art. Fight Club's themes are philosophical and thought provoking, as they investigate the effects of consumerism in modern society. The major characters are round and identifiable. The clever blend of content and form enriches the film, adding heightened dimensions to the story and its themes. The dialogue is inspiring and spiritual. Stunning visuals empower the story and vividly communicate Fight Club's symbolism.

The protagonist, Jack, is introduced as a nameless man suffering from a midlife crisis and an increasing apathy for life. His exposition personifies a pathetic and painfully routine lifestyle; life for Jack consists of tidying his apartment, shuffling through catalogs for clever buys and drifting through sleepless nights. Jack's spiritless and numb disposition is mirrored within the apartment's cold and static décor. Witnessing Jack fall victim to consumerism and society's conformity arouses an immediate empathy and compassion for his character. A lost soul, who's desperately searching for his identity, is trapped within Jack's hollow cocoon of IKEA catalogs and cookie cutter furniture. He works at a frivolous white-collar job, where he is unappreciated and lost within the commotion. Jack's emotional and physical detachment is depicted by his vacant expression and the monotone interaction with his boss. Watching the copy machine generate countless replicas reflects one of Fight Club's underlying themes: conformity. There exists a distinct void within Jack; he is incomplete. His possessions are a means to an unattainable end. Jack's voiceover narration expresses his internal struggle. "What kind of dining set defines a person?"

Tyler Durden is Jack's alter ego, created from his desperation and despair. He is strong, confident, and, most importantly, free of society's bondage. Tyler's witty and philosophical one-liners portray his kindled spirit and immediately make him an admirable character. His flamboyant and mismatched clothing reflects his eccentric personality and unconventional world views. Tyler's detrimental habits, such as smoking and excessive drinking, characterize his overly placid and careless state of mind. Jack wildly idolizes and worships Tyler. This is blatantly stated during their confrontation in act 3, "You were looking for a way to change your life. You could not do this on your own. All the ways you wish you could be: that's me." Tyler's night jobs are ideal to his destructive motives, as they allow him tasteless opportunities to exploit and disturb consumers. The persons remain ignorant and perfectly oblivious to Tyler's mischief. "Oblivion" is one of Fight Club's reoccurring themes. In act 1, Jack discovers a sense of oblivious contentment when he attends the various support group meetings. His narration reflects on this false solace. "Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete."

Tyler's charisma and inspiring leadership—paired with Jack's interiorized resentment for society—fuse together to form a dangerous and immovable force. Tyler quickly develops into an anarchist, terrorist leader, and an exalted legend among the working class citizens. The scope of the film widens as the plot progresses; the destruction, which began in the isolation of Jack's apartment, spreads to a worldwide scale. Project Mayhem is Jack's ideal crime. It is his vengeance, and a bittersweet revenge on society. Project Mayhem is an attempt to destroy and conquer everything which had enslaved his spirit.

Clever and practical techniques used in Fight Club's sequencing, voiceover narration, and selective pacing heighten the story's impact. The film's form and content are seamless. They brilliantly compliment each other. A jarring shot of Jack, pressed up against Bob's breasts, is shown within the first minute of the film; directly after, the screen time is flashbacked several months. The visual of Jack...
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