Updated: May 23, 2020
As per the founders of Fight Club, the first rule of Fight Club is to not talk about Fight Club. However, not talking about such a masterpiece of a mind-bending idea(literally), converting it into a narrative that never lags, dialogues that punch you in the gut and a Brad Pitt performance that will be remembered for ages will be one of the greatest disservices that can be done to it.
Getting up to speed, Fight Club is the story of a guy leading a materialistic and disillusioned life (Edward Norton, who narrates the story and doesn’t have a name) and the friendship he strikes up with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) while on a plane. Circumstances force them to stay together and The Narrator is in awe of the way Tyler lives life – content, happy go lucky and in the moment. One random day, Tyler asks The Narrator to pick a fight with him. He is confused, but does so to amuse Tyler. And before The Narrator knows it, this is the moment he feels actually alive. He wants more of this and thus Fight Club is born. More and more disillusioned people sign up to join the club. At a more fundamental level, it mirrors the way how addictive living life the right way can be and how many souls are waiting for a chance at redemption.
The movie released about 20 years back but doesn’t feel dated, due to the timelessness of the central idea – discovering what you truly want from life and living it to your full potential. There is one epic scene where Tyler pulls a gun on a department store owner and forces him to do what he really desires. The impact is such that you step back and take a hard look at the way you have been leading your life. It also conveys that your possessions, your way of life, your job, doesn’t define who you are deep down actually.
There are three principal characters – The Narrator, Tyler Durden and Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter, the girl with whom The Narrator shares a complicated relationship). Edward Norton is simply fabulous as The Narrator – confused as to what to do with life and ready to do whatever it takes to become better. Helena Bonham Carter is superb as the whimsical lady with a streak of madness in her.(Maybe it was this role that helped her land the role of Bellatrix Lestrange.)But hands down, it is Brad Pitt who steals the show with his portrayal of Tyler Durden. Charming at his best and reckless at his worst, he pulls of the character with an ease and a finesse that is just impossible to replicate. Simply put, it is a masterclass in acting. Fight Club has a separate fan base for its dialogues alone and that is no mean feat. Sample this : The things you used to own, now they own you. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are other that not only make you gape, but also change your outlook towards the way you see things.
In such a gripping movie, the only grouse has to be the over drawn climax. That aside it certainly is one movie to watch which needs to be watched time and again, to get a kick up the backside and to re-evaluate one’s priorities in life and differentiate between what we want from life and what we actually need from it.I could go on and on, but no amount of words would be enough to describe the impact of the brilliance of the movie and the sheer audacity of the idea. It just has to be watched. Happy Fighting, people.