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Fight Club is one of those movies that invokes the audience directly: it invites you not only to question your abilities to understand, transforming over and over again the plot by its twists and turns carefully planned, but also your ideas, your way of being and your life style too.
Directed by David Fincher in 1999, Fight Club takes inspiration from the Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, a book that seems to be written exactly for the film adaptation. The story follows the life of the main character (Edward Norton), a man that suffers from insomnia who is fed up with his mundane life; the only solution to his problems is to take part in support groups for terminal illness. Since the introduction, Fight Club invites the audience to question one of their own most human and terrible side: the relief given by the knowledge that there is someone who has it worse. The life of the protagonist is altered when he met Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a strange soap salesman who also works in a movie theatre. The two of them ended up living together and formed the Fight Club, a secret group in which two of the members fight against each other and stop only when one of them surrenders or is left unconscious. “The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club”, but more people will start to join the group. At the end, Fight Club gets a lot of people involved, soon becoming much more than a secret fighting circle.
Chuck Palahniuk liberally gains from the double Freud theme to create a story, where the cynicism and the disappointment transmit a critique about the contemporary society. The psychosis of the main character represents, indeed, the existential disease of every man, who is afflicted and not being able to identify with a fake and cruel world, dominated by mass consumption and greed.
The voice over-protagonist is like a mirror of us all; Tyler Durden is a mirror of the main character; Fight Club is a distorted mirror of the support groups; the antisocial tendencies and the anarchist revolutions and the disillusion are mirrors of the society in which we live in; lastly, the psychotic projection of the leading actor is a mirror of everything we would like to be, but we don’t have the courage to accomplish.
Besides, the movie shows a free interpretation about the Nietzsche superman concept. The storyteller, messing his life up, kills his loved ones, himself (metaphorically) and his own “god” — if “god” means any value a man believes in — in order to reach a higher condition, to escape from the duties that hold him to a fake existence, to raise himself beyond an evil and common world. But Fight Club also teaches that searching for the external cause of our own angst, is just an easy way out: the primordial enemies, who are the causes of pain, must be fund in ourselves, in a nihilist reality that hurts and attracts at the same time.
Alessia Arcando – Translated by Beatrice Birolo