An Analysis Of The Film Fight Club

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An Analysis Of The Film Fight Club Essay, Research Paper An analysis of the film Fight Club For years, David Fincher has been turning out some of the most stylish and inventive thrillers to ever hit the American screens. In spite of critical and public backlash, his Alien 3 remains the most technically interesting of that series, and Seven stands as the suspense film upon which all other modern suspense films are based. With The Game, he proved himself more than a one-movie wonder and emerged as one of the most original filmmakers working in Hollywood. His new film, Fight Club, however, is his most challenging piece of work. It is a film that demands that its viewers look past what’s on the surface and find something deeper. Fight Club is a multi-layered film with many

subplots and multiple themes. Fincher delves into such topics as consumerism, the feminization of society, manipulation, cultism, fascism, and even the psychosemantics of the human id and ego. Primarily, it is a film that surrealistically describes the status of the American male at the end of the 20th century: disenchanted, unfulfilled, castrated and looking for a way out. It depicts how consumerist males have been emasculated by their modern life styles, by a feminized consumer culture that places more worth on nice furniture and nice wardrobe than masculine values like power and strength. The central character in the film, who remains nameless and who is played by Edward Norton, is very much like Lester Burnham of American Beauty. He is trapped in the corporate world and finds

himself increasingly dissatisfied with the fruits it is supposed to deliver. Norton’s character leads an unfulfilled and aimless life. Rather than masturbating as an outlet, he buys furniture from IKEA. It is by no chance that our Narrator is not given a name: he is the Everyman of the 90s, “a slave to the IKEA nesting instinct” (Fight Club) with an apartment that owns him more than he owns it. He also suffers from insomnia for which the only cure seems to come in the form of going to self-help groups for terminal diseases like testicular cancer–testicles and their absence being one of the themes–or tuberculosis. The emotional confessions of the participants give him a vicarious sense of being alive and provide emotional release, which then allows him to sleep soundly.

While he enjoys good health, he is closer to death than the people he communes with on a nightly basis. They face physical mortality at any moment. He faces spiritual mortality every moment of his waking life. It is through the depiction of the Narrator’s support groups that the feminization of men in society is most effectively described–through the one for men suffering from testicular cancer in particular. These are full of men opening up, crying, exploring feelings… doing all those things women are supposed to do. One of the testicular-cancer patients, Bob (Meat Loaf) has, as a result of his hormone treatments for the disease, developed huge breasts. The representation of this man–a former champion body builder–weeping openly, clasping Jack to his ample bosom during

a session, is the prefect image of the emasculated man. Soon, the narrator’s world is invaded by another emotional tourist, Marla Singer, a suicidal waif living on the edge of society. The Narrator is both repelled and intrigued by this woman, who cheats and steals, scratching out an existence while the Narrator struggles with his daily grind. Unlike the Narrator, she attends support group meetings purely for the voyeuristic entertainment value. Since the Narrator cannot cry in the presence of another “faker”, his insomnia returns. On an airplane ride to visit an accident site on behalf of his company, he meets Tyler Durden who is everything he is not. Brash, self-confident and dressed like a pimp, Durden describes himself as a soap salesman but he gives every indication of