The Narrator, an automobile recall specialist, is unfulfilled by his job and possessions and suffers from chronic insomnia. To cure this he attends support groups, posing as a sufferer of diseases. His bliss is disturbed when another impostor, Marla Singer, begins attending the same groups. The two agree to split which groups they attend.
On a flight home from a business trip, the Narrator meets soap salesman Tyler Durden. The Narrator returns home to find his apartment and all his belongings have been destroyed by an explosion. Disheartened by his material loss, he calls Tyler and they meet at a bar. Tyler tells him he is trapped by consumerism. In the parking lot, he asks the Narrator to hit him, and they have a fistfight.
The Narrator moves into Tyler’s home, a large dilapidated house in an industrial area. They have further fights outside the bar, which attract growing crowds of men. The fights move to the bar’s basement where the men form Fight Club, which routinely meets.
Marla overdoses on pills and telephones the Narrator for help; he ignores her, but Tyler goes to her apartment to save her. They begin a sexual relationship, much to the Narrator’s irritation. Tyler warns the Narrator never to talk to Marla about him. The Narrator blackmails his boss for his company’s assets to support Fight Club and quits his job.
More new members join Fight Club, including Robert “Bob” Paulson, a man with testicular cancer whom the Narrator had met in a support group. Tyler then recruits their members to a new anti-materialist and anti-corporate organization, Project Mayhem, without the Narrator’s involvement. The group engages in subversive acts of vandalism, increasingly troubling the Narrator. After the Narrator complains that Tyler has excluded him, Tyler reveals that he was the one who caused the explosion at the Narrator’s condo.
When Paulson is killed by the police during a botched sabotage operation, the Narrator tries to halt the project. He follows a paper trail to cities Tyler had visited, discovering Project Mayhem has spread throughout the country. In one city, a project member addresses the Narrator as “Mr. Durden.” Confused, the Narrator calls Marla and discovers that she also believes he is Tyler. Tyler appears in his hotel room and reveals that they are dissociated personalities; the Narrator assumed the personality of Tyler when he believed he was sleeping.
The Narrator blacks out. When he returns to the house, he uncovers Tyler’s plans to erase debt by destroying buildings that contain credit card records. He apologizes to Marla and warns her that she is in danger, but she is tired of his contradictory behavior and refuses to listen. He tries to warn the police, but the officers are members of the Project. He attempts to disarm the explosives in one building, but Tyler subdues him.
With Tyler holding him at gunpoint on the top floor, the Narrator realizes that, as he and Tyler are the same person, the Narrator is holding the gun. He fires it into his own mouth, shooting through his cheek. Tyler dies, and the Narrator ceases mentally projecting him. Project Mayhem members bring a kidnapped Marla to the building. Holding hands, the Narrator and Marla watch as the explosives detonate, collapsing buildings around them.
Memorable Quotes From Fight Club
1. “Advertising Has Us Chasing Cars And Clothes, Working Jobs We Hate So We Can Buy Shit We Don’t Need.”
2. “The Things You Own End Up Owning You.”
3. “You Met Me At A Very Strange Time In My Life.”
4. “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.”
5. “In Tyler We Trusted.”
6. “You Are Not Special. You Are Not A Beautiful Or Unique Snowflake. You Are The Same Decaying Organic Matter As Everything Else.”
7. “A Condom Is The Glass Slipper Of Our Generation.”
8. “I Am Jack’s Complete Lack Of Surprise.”
9. “When You Have Insomnia, You’re Never Really Asleep…And You’re Never Really Awake.”
10. “First, You’ve Gotta Know – Not Fear, Know – That Someday, You’re Gonna Die.”
11. “It’s Only After We’ve Lost Everything That We’re Free To Do Anything.”
12. “I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can.”
13. “If You Aren’t On Your Way To Becoming A Vet In Six Weeks, You Will Be Dead.”
14. “This Is Your Life, And It’s Ending One Minute At A Time.”
Tyler Durden Philosophy
You’re not a beautiful, unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
The reason Fight Club is so easy to misunderstand is that Fincher beautifully sets up both the narrator’s depression and Tyler’s appeal. The narrator is a victim of capitalism, unable to forge real human connections so instead he fills his life with stuff. Tyler represents “freedom” from the modern world. The fight clubs in the movie could very well be a metaphor for drug abuse. It’s something you are drawn into, it’s secretive, it consumes your life and gives your life focus. It gives you a euphoric feeling, and then devours you. “Really, it’s a metaphor.” Sure, it’s literal anarchy for a while, but after that, it has a purpose: Durden wants to blow up the credit card companies, undo the American Dream, and set everyone free from their debt. A rare film that challenges the viewer to come up with his own interpretations.
5 / 5
- Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Jared Leto
- David Fincher
- 20th Century Fox
Here is the trailer of fight club.
Here is the link to stream Fight Club on Amazon Prime.