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Fight Club

September 7, 2010

937. Fight Club
Directed by David Fincher
USA, 1999
IMDB | allmovie

Reviewed by Rachel
Umpteenth viewing


How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?

A white-collar office employee makes a new friend, Tyler Durden. Together they create an underground organisation which combines expression of male aggression with a hatred of consumerism.

Essential Scene:

Fight Club opens in a manner similar to Goodfellas, as the viewer is put right into the action before being taken back to the beginning. This is a clever method because it brings about many questions that are only answered when we carry on watching. I can safely say that no-one could guess the circumstances which lead to this outcome.

The opening titles are set in our unnamed narrator’s brain. The camera pulls out to reveal his sweating skin and then a gun barrel which is in his mouth. Tyler Durden has his finger on the trigger.

Narrator: [voiceover] People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden.

Tyler Durden: Three minutes. This is it – ground zero. Would you like to say a few words to mark the occasion?

Narrator: (mumbles)

Narrator: [voiceover] With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.

[Tyler removes the gun from the Narrator’s mouth]

Narrator: I can’t think of anything.

Narrator: [voiceover] For a second I totally forgot about Tyler’s whole controlled demolition thing and I wonder how clean that gun is.


My first thoughts before seeing this film a few years ago were “Oh goody, a punchy-uppy film overflowing with testosterone.” Well, this certainly told me off. Don’t prejudge a film, Rachel.

Yes, men do get punched.

A lot.

But there’s so much more to Fight Club that I’m not even sure where to begin telling you.

Fight Club is a generational film for both men and women alike. In an era in which we can’t go six months without buying a new mobile phone, in which our clothing must be a brand name and in which our houses are decked out with flat packed furniture, we need Tyler Durden shouting “You are not defined by what you own.”

Again similar to Goodfellas, Fight Club uses narration and a sustained flashback coupled with reality shifts to leave you confused and uneasy. What is Tyler capable of? Why does he make sense while being utterly nonsensical?

And of course, the ultimate question: Who is Tyler Durden?

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