The twentieth century has been a century of change. It started with wars and ended with frantic technological advances. Progress that has led to the consumer society we are currently experiencing.Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999) put an end to this century and marked the beginning of the 21st century in a wild, brutal and unoptimistic way.Every sentence, every scene, every shot, everything it presents generates a reaction in the viewer.
Fight Clubis a harsh criticism of society, a blow for many of us who sometimes feel identified with the nameless character embodied by a magnificent Edward Norton.Many criticized the film. Some felt uncomfortable and others saw a masterpiece which perfectly closed the twentieth century.
No, it's not a movie to see quietly while eating popcorn. Nor is it a film that awakens the most forced sentimentality of cinema.It is a film that awakens the viewer, in the strictest sense of the word.Warnings at the beginning of the film already warn us that we are going to receive a blow. A blow to the ego, a blow to the stomach.
The main character, whose name is not mentioned, is the faithful reflection of a man victim of his time: a slave to his job, he suffers from insomnia and loses his time buying things at IKEA. His only breath of fresh air, he finds it in a group therapy. A therapy that is attended by people suffering from diseases such as cancer, to make their situation "easier".
All of this ends up changing when he meets Marla, a key character and, a little later, Tyler Durden (or rather himself).We advise you not to continue reading if you have not seen the movie because this article contains spoilers.
Gray, dark, annoying and nauseating. Here are some terms that might describeFight Club,this burst of sadistic laughter in the face of what surrounds us, the world we know, the consumer society of which we are slaves.It plunges us into the diseases of our time, a time when we are what we have.
David Fincher and his trio of incredible actors (Helena Bonham Carter, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt) managed to capture the essence of the late 90s, anticipate the future by plunging us into an obscure club full of blood and self-destruction.
"We live in a sick world and we are sick", here is the feeling that leaves usFight Club. The film presents itself as an introspective narrative narrated by its main character. However, this introspection has a certain universality.
Even if it is told in the first person, the protagonist does not tell us his name and presents himself as a commonplace man: he lives alone in an apartment in a big city, works as an expert for a major automobile company, suffers from insomnia and spends his money on purchases.
This characterization is quite universal.Since we do not know his name, we transpose his account from the "I" to the "we", by doing a retrospective of our own life.The character lives in a world we know. There is no fantasy or artifice, it is our daily reality. His "evils" are ours or those of many people we know.
The main problem of this protagonist is insomnia. His doctor refuses to continue to prescribe medication for sleep and so he chooses to attend group therapies of people with cancer.
It's during one of these meetings that he meets Bob, a man who has had testicular cancer and lost his masculinity. He had his testicles amputated and, because of the treatment, began to have breasts growing. The protagonist feels relieved alongside these people and finally manages to sleep.
He does not know the cause of his insomnia. He does not know the root of the problem. In reality,he just knows that during these therapies, he feels at peace and can cry without holding back.A thing that seemed previously forbidden for men because crying was synonymous with femininity.
We live in a frenetic world, we consume to feel good, we have everything and, despite this, we hear more and more words like "anxiety", "stress", "insomnia", "depression" … This are the diseases of our time.
Just when he seems to control the situation and his insomnia problem,Marla appears. This woman will reduce this peace to ashes, destabilize our protagonists and make him dive back into his sleep disorder.Marla is like him; she is a woman for whom life has no meaning. She is waiting for death and her greatest pain is to see that she does not arrive. She also attends these therapies.This is just another tourist.
Why is Marla a threat? Because it is his reflection. She represents her lie.If it is discovered, all of its center of stability and peace will disappear. The rejection that Marla produces is a rejection of himself. This woman even attends testicular cancer therapy. Who can believe that a woman has suffered from such a cancer?
This insolence, this way of enjoying the pain of others to manage his own is what makes our protagonist crazy. Marla is simply the feminine version of himself.
Fight Club,the destruction of capitalism
After Marla, it's Tyler Durden's turn to appear. Tyler is a handsome man, strong, who lives away from the system and standards.He makes soap, lives in a house that we could catalog as a ruin and does what he wants.
Tyler is the antithesis of our era. It represents the absolute rejection of capitalism, of the modern man who is a slave to his work in order to buy material things that are supposed to fill his inner void.
Together, they will startfight club,the new therapy group of the main character. These are meetings in which different men meet to let their wildest side, the most bestial, break out.Tyler is the guru of this group, the spiritual guide responsible for exploding all the rage and all the anger that all these men feel.
These struggles allow men to free themselves from social pressures, to extricate themselves from the slavery in which they live, to no longer thinkand to be carried away by their most violent side.
As Tyler explains, cinema has made us believe that we can be rock stars, famous actors … The media have set us too high goals, and in the meantime, we just lock ourselves in offices and to earn enough money to buy, to be someone.
These problems of insomnia, this contemporary disease of the protagonist, led him to suffer from a split personality, to create a new "me" to invent Tyler.A dissociative disorder that makes us think of a kind of actualized, more beautiful, stronger Hyde, which represents all the hidden desires of the character, all that anger accumulated for years, towards society and the world around it.
Beyond the fighting, a conspiracy appears.A series of attacks with a deep sense of freedom,anarchy. Attacks that do not go against people but aim to destroy large companies, buildings and symbols of contemporary slavery.
Fight Clubis a punch, a nihilist speech, an attack of the end of the century and the beginning of the next; a blow for Hollywood, for capitalism and for ourselves.We all wanted, at one point in our lives, to be Tyler.
"It's only when we've lost everything that we're free to do anything we want."