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‘Fight Club’ still holds its relevance when viewing society 22 years later

4.5/5 Stars

The 1999 film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s critically acclaimed novel “Fight Club” remains a timeless representation of the pressures that society places on struggling individuals. Director David Fincher manages to keep the 2 hour and 19 minute feature entertaining and gripping by keeping the audience on the edge of their seat, leaving them feeling just as disassociated as the film’s main character. Edward Norton’s disoriented, insomniac narrator acts as a foil to Brad Pitt’s psychotic anarchist character Tyler Durden as the two tackle what masculinity means to them in a society fixated on the epitome of the ideal man. 

What makes “Fight Club” a compelling and entertaining film is its use of cinematic techniques. There is something about Norton’s lack of emotion while he narrates that illustrates the themes of isolation and aimlessness that piece together the scenes of the movie. These themes, alongside Fincher’s expert foreshadowing, end with an unsatisfying ending that will leave viewers thinking about the plot for days. 

At moments, we see Norton addressing the audience directly, but as the movie progresses, he completely forgets the audience exists as he becomes more fixated on his world than ours. 

It is understandable how “Fight Club” was the most talked about movie of its time. In addition to its rewatchability, it is a film that remains relevant in today’s society, with its plot addressing the treatment of mental illness as well as addiction and poverty. 

With a title like “Fight Club,” this movie does not hold back on violence. Other than the beginning, one of the characters is always sporting a shiner with a bandage on their nose or covered in blood from events prior to the scenes. The acting really adds to the illusion of violence, with actors like Norton making the audience really think they’re throwing punches or in genuine pain.

This film is rated R and I would not recommend watching with anyone of an immature audience, or likewise, your parents. However, it is a perfect film to watch on your own, especially when you feel particularly angry at society. Additionally, if you would like to watch recently passed musician Meat Loaf take a few jabs at Norton, or you’re just there for Pitt’s stellar performance, “Fight Club” is well worth your time. If for any reason you find yourself watching this movie, you’ll be left viewing the world around you differently than you had before.

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