[FILM] Fight Club

Rule number one of fight club is you don’t talk about the fight club. – Fight Club

This film should be familiar with everybody. You might have hear people talking about the “rule number one” thing all the time or you might have chanced upon this sweaty picture of a very ribbed and masculine dirty-wash blonde Brad Pitt in his mid-30s looking ribbed in a seemingly shady place. Or people around you might have said that Fight Club is about consumerism, or they might have complained about the film’s ambiguous ending featuring music from Pixies. Well what you have heard or seen are not wrong, Fight Club is about all those.

Truth be told, I first attempted to watch Fight Club years ago only to give up halfway because there was just so many bloody fight scenes. I mean I should have figured it out from the title right away right? It wasn’t until only recently did I gave it another try and this time, I think I got the show figured out.

The answer to this question depends greatly on who you are asking too. For someone who has never heard of it, Tyler is played by Brad Pitt. Well, not wrong +1 point. But taking this question further, Tyler Durden is an imaginary character that existed only because of the main character. And if you paid real close attention, you would notice that the name of the main character, Jack, (played by Edward Norton) was not revealed explicitly. People might interpret the identity and role of Tyler differently, but I believe that Tyler is the ideal person Jack envisions to be and only created at his breaking point. Brad Pitt’s character is physically attractive, charismatic, bold, and lives his life without restraints whatsoever. On the bus ride, they ironically slammed the brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger yet right in the next scene we see a shirtless Tyler wrestling another Fight Club member on the floor; Tyler subconsciously wants to be a good-looking man to the point he dreamt up Jack.

Also, we first know him as a bar soap seller and one thing that stood out to me was the bar soap. A bar soap cleanses the skin and Tyler Durden is a bar soap salesperson. Does it mean that his role is to purify the people he encounter? As the movie progresses, the meaning and purpose of a fight club become clearer; the whole club exists as a way for men to show off their masculinity traits, or be masculine, and take on personalities they otherwise couldn’t in their day-to-day job. It is a social gathering, a place and a hobby for men to suffer the bruises and wounds only to recover physically and metaphorically from their old beaten selves. We also gain more insights on Tyler’s role, and his existence is to redeem these people, make them abandon a materialistic lifestyle, and just live life every waking moment.


The story is about the fight clubs and there is no escaping from blood and violence in those scenes. The ending of the film is still one of the many discussed scenes in films, but I interpreted it as telling the audience that the way to live is by dying metaphorically. Jack killed his imaginary buddy Tyler and reunited with Marla Singer. By killing Jack, it means that Tyler must have acknowledged the existence of an alter ego which existed because Jack desires the traits Tyler had. If Jack could accept the fact that Tyler did not exist, then Jack must have known that the actions Tyler had been ‘doing’ were actually done by Jack himself. Letting Tyler live would only mean that Jack hasn’t fully accepted the truth that he is capable of living an unrestrained life free of meaningless chase for material goods, and hence it is necessary for Jack to kill Tyler for Jack to live freely.

If we looked back at the first half of the show, Jack only moved in with Tyler because his condo apartment, which was an almost exact replica of an IKEA showroom, got burned down by Tyler (or should I say Jack) himself. It further adds to the point that in order for new things to happen, the old must be gone.

Overall, I find the film truly thought-provoking though the fight scenes could be milder. I was surprised to see Jared Leto in it and his acting was good too. David Fincher did dropped a few hints here and there (remember how the inspector suspected Jack was the one who burned his house? remember how confused Marla gets whenever Tyler is mentioned?) and I must say the plot twist towards the end was unanticipated. I might not watch it again as the suspense is gone though but I will share it with my friends. Then again, if I followed the first rule of the Fight Club I will be violating the club’s rules and I wouldn’t want to be kicked out so quickly.

Rating: 2.5 out of 3.

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