Adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's novel, David Fincher's controversial drama explores themes of masculinity and violence in contemporary society. Edward Norton stars as Jack, a bored insomniac, determined to inject some excitement into his life. He meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic soap salesman who believes that the only way to escape the banality of modern existence is through violence. To these ends, Jack and Tyler set up 'Fight Clubs', where men can engage in brutal bare-knuckle fights. However, friction develops between the two men when they become rivals for the attentions of Marla (Helena Bonham-Carter).
All films take a certain suspension of disbelief. Fight Club
takes perhaps more than others, but if you're willing to let yourself get caught up in the anarchy, this film, based on the novel
by Chuck Palahniuk, is a modern-day morality play warning of the decay of society. Edward Norton is the unnamed protagonist, a man going through life on cruise control, feeling nothing. To fill his hours, he begins attending support groups and 12-step meetings. True, he isn't actually afflicted with the problems, but he finds solace in the groups. This is destroyed, however, when he meets Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), also faking her way through groups. Spiralling back into insomnia, Norton finds his life is changed once again, by a chance encounter with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), whose forthright style and no-nonsense way of taking what he wants appeal to our narrator. Tyler and the protagonist find a new way to feel release: they fight. They fight each other, and then as others are attracted to their ways, they fight the men who come to join their newly formed Fight Club. Marla begins a destructive affair with Tyler, and things fly out of control, as Fight Club grows into a nationwide fascist group that escapes the protagonist's control. Fight Club
, directed by David Fincher (Seven
), is not for the faint of heart; the violence is no holds barred. But the film is captivating and beautifully shot, with some thought-provoking ideas. Pitt and Norton are an unbeatable duo, and the film has some surprisingly humorous moments. The film leaves you with a sense of profound discomfort and a desire to see it again, if for no other reason than to just to take it all in. --Jenny Brown