Fight Club

Fight Club ★★★★★

Every two months or so, I head home and spend any free time I have with my family. During that time, I sit with my mum and watch all the movies I've seen since I was last home that I think she would like. Each time she asks "is it a cheery one?" I tend to ignore this comment since her favourite film we've seen over the last 3 years of doing this has been Room, which isn't exactly known for its entirely laugh-a-minute feel.

At the end of Fight Club, all she said was "strange."

She has no real interest in looking past the surface-level enjoyment of a film. Fincher's adaption explores nihilism, advertising, masculinity, capitalism, materialism, apathy, but on the surface, this is a guy who starts a club that gets out of hand. Looked at that way, is it still a 5/5 film?

Fight Club relies on you leaning close to pick apart the motives of everyone's actions. You need to have an awareness of the society we live in and the effects it has on people, and then you have to be aware enough that you don't judge the characters straight away for seemingly heartless acts, such as turning up at support groups when they have no place being there.

On the surface, this is a long film with a weighty second act. It looks cool, the three main leads are all great to watch, but the story without the analysis doesn't hold up. You have to step back and stroke your chin for a bit to reap the rewards.

So when I said to my mum "it's about materialism..." I stopped myself because I heard the pretentious wanker in me coming out. If she didn't enjoy something because she doesn't feel that enjoyment is linked to an exploration of the themes, then that says more about the film than her. She did enjoy the twist, Helena Bonham Carter, the dark humour, and not always knowing what was happening because she knew something was up.

Over the last year or so I've watched more films that could be considered challenging than before in my life, but when it comes down to it, I still just want to be entertained. That's why I can give The Force Awakens a 5/5 - I was bouncing in the cinema with excitement all the way through, but it hardly has the depth of Fight Club. With this film, I'm happy to go exploring, to put the time in and give it a think, but ultimately, if the surface isn't as good as what's underneath, is it still a great film? On this occasion I'm prepared to say yes, but it has been a nice reminder that, well, no one likes a snobbish wanker.

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