184 of 206 people found the following review helpful
The year's best satire,
This review is from: Fight Club (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (DVD)
FIGHT CLUB arrived in the US with a blaze of publicity stressing its violence and nihilism; some critics (and those close to the production) countered this with the suggestion that it was an anti-materialist jeremiad. On a second viewing, it seems like neither -- it's easier to see it as a smart, committed and complex piece of filmmaking. David Fincher once again dazzles with his direction, which is as intelligently energetic as the acting of Brad Pitt and, especially, Edward Norton. What's really impressive, however, is the way that the film manages to flirt with an anti-materialist, hyper-masculine primitivism even as it suggests that we're all a little too sophisticated to buy it (as it were).
FIGHT CLUB may hold that we're not the clothes we wear, or the credit cards in our wallet, but it's savvy enough to realise that our paths of thought and modes of organisation are almost entirely contaminated by the world we've created. Is the solution to destroy that world? Well, that's an option -- but watch closely in the movie's second half and see how subtly and hilariously Fincher undermines this: the anarchists begin to chant management-speak, to dissolve into a collective identity, and to form franchises as if they were selling frappucino rather than revolution. Norton is especially horrified at all this, and his wonderful reactions to the disintegration of 'Project Mayhem' are the calm (and moral) centre of the film. Rather like ANIMAL FARM, Fincher tells us that we can have our revolution, but it's going to cost us dear; perhaps even the individuality and reason which we'd hoped to gain from our actions.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 22, 2010, 5:05:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2010, 5:05:40 AM PST
Excellent review. I rarely read Amazon reviews that give me any new insight. Yours did.
In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2011, 10:49:37 AM PDT
William Gray says:
Ditto here! I've seen Fight Club dozens of times, and this review has now made me see the film in a new light. Thanks for opening my eyes just that much more. :)
Posted on Apr 5, 2013, 4:51:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 5, 2013, 4:53:20 PM PDT
"we can have our revolution, but it's going to cost us... individuality and reason..."? what is the revolution supposed to replace with what then?????? you mean there's "individuality" that we have right now that the revolution is supposed to save? really?
Posted on Aug 5, 2014, 1:48:02 PM PDT
C. Gerkin says:
Posted on Aug 4, 2015, 10:42:10 PM PDT
I took the film to actually be a study in one man's mental illness. I wasn't sure what was real and what were hallucinations/delusions. This is a person who is not capable of feeling connected to other human beings, and of course, he is a sociopath as well.
This idea of the 'true' male figure as being uncaring, violent, macho etc. is just a distortion of reality, one which actually causes a great deal of violence and pain in the world.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2015, 3:33:29 AM PDT
That's a reasonable interpretation, Violets. But if all the film is about is "a study in one man's mental illness", without anything else of substance, what purpose does the film serve?
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2016, 8:10:59 AM PDT
Barry Freed says:
I suppose I've just too much psychiatric interest lingering like dust around the soles of my shoes, that I suppose that I can, do and hope that I will find value in a movie of that is only "a study in one man's mental illness, without anything else of substance" to make me shy away from wathing the film. I was out of pocket for about 16 years and am only now attempting to catch up on those years of merriment that I missed. Art, even if only cloying and plain attempts at creating art, doesn't need a purpose unless it is, by it's nature, propoganda. If it fails as propoganda, then it has failed its "purpose."
And, no, I didn't spend 16 years in a mental hospital or any sort of penal institution. I have, though, learned to appreciate life so much more than I did in 1999. I "value" so much and find much more value in things - but I don't find that I need "purpose" as a finale for, hmm, don't find that everything that is good, or worthy, needs a "purpose."
And now I need to order the movie and watch it. There have certainly been a lot of discussion about this movie - now I'll see if it's as nihilistic as everyone says!
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2016, 9:46:41 AM PDT
anonymous, might I possibly bias your viewing by suggesting that the film's startling "reveal" has absolutely nothing to do with the point(s) of the story? It could have been removed without changing the film's meaning and purpose.
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