Friday, April 03, 2009

Movie Review on Fight Club

"You wake up at Seatac, SFO, LAX. You wake up at O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, mountain, central. Lose an hour, gain an hour. This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time. You wake up at Air Harbor International. If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?"

With this memorable words narrated by Edward Norton began the 1999 movie, Fight Club. Norton met Tyler Durben in a bar and end up fighting. They find the bare knuckle street fighting so enjoyable that more and more people joined in. The Fight Club was so popular that it became a franchise and went worldwide. That is until Tyler Durben came out with Operation Mayhem! And the surprising revelation of who Tyler really is.

On the surface this is a movie about street brawls. However it is a social commentary about the raging anger most people felt inside them in living in a society that is so frustrating and chaotic. Most people are on the lookout for ways to release these anger. Street brawling became the means of release of anger and male empowerment. These fight clubs gave them a sense of community, belonging, liberation, release, rebellion and rejection of the middle class consumerism values they have to live by. In the fight clubs, some people through their pain experience some form of 'religious' experience.

I was horrified by the outrageous behavior of Tyler Durben, ably played by Brad Pitts. But what he did was to thumb his nose at many of the social norms of the North American society. I enjoyed the movie in spite of the gory fight scenes. I watched this movie with a sinking feeling in my stomach. It is due to the realization that somehow the church has failed in her task to provide for these people. And this failure was the reason they find meaning in the fight clubs.

Not suitable for children. Good for group discussion.

picture source here and here

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4 Comments:

Blogger Sze Zeng said...

This movie is my all time favorite. Fell in love at my first time watching.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Sze Zeng,

How would you compare this to "A Beautiful Mind' with Russell Crowe?

5:46 PM  
Blogger Sze Zeng said...

Hi Alex,

Both movies centralize on the protagonists' imagined personals.

It's been a while I watched 'A Beautiful Mind', so can't really remember exactly why he had those hallucination in the first place. Merely mental breakdown or inner-self inspired like Edward Norton in Fight Club?

While Norton's character hallucinates, yet he did do something significant within the real world, Crowe's character didn't really effected any changes with his hallucinations.

Given the postmodern and anti-consumerism theme in Fight Club, which is not found in A Beautiful Mind (if i don't remember wrongly), it appeals and speaks better to the urbanize citizens.

There are other shows which play around such mental problems. The famous Sixth Sense (Bruce Willis), The Others (Nicole Kidman), etc.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Sze Zeng,

Thank you for your comment. I agree with you why Fight Club appeals so much to the contemporary urbanites. A Beautiful Mind is during a different time period.

Personally I believe Norton's character and Nash is schizophrenic. Therefore aside from the social commentary of both films, these two films gives us a glimpse in the detailed worlds of people suffering from schizophrenia.

I have not seen the Sixth Sense and The Others so I cannot comment on them.

11:41 AM  

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