Fight Club

Fight Club ★★★★★

My second watch.
I hadn't seen this film in nearly a year and I forgot how many levels it works on. On a filmmaker level, it's amazingly stylized and Fincher's direction is always impressive. But, we've gotta be honest, it's so well-remembered because it's entertaining as hell. On a purely superficial level, it works because it's endlessly compelling and endlessly cool, largely due to its perfect understanding of style, narrative momentum, and tension. But, on a deeper level, it's absolutely brilliant. It's an unapologetic criticism of consumer culture and conformity, dissecting how people, and specifically middle-class American men of the 1990s (it captures the zeitgeist of the era to a tee), are impacted by the world around them and how everyone needs something to be angry at and something else to latch on to and believe in. And, on a certain level, it makes us question the validity of the institutions that are central to the workings of our society. But then it turns around and dissects the very mode of thinking that it convinced us of in the first place. A world of violent, angry men are no solution to a world built by violent, angry men. One institution replaces another. It's a cycle: the consumerism, the mindlessness, the brain-washing, the control, there's no way out, and the point only becomes clearer when we remember how easily the film convinced even the viewer in the first place. But, somehow, maybe we can look inwards and understand ourselves to rethink who and what we really care about. That's what Fight Club is really all about. Yes, it's always extremely entertaining and awesome, but it's also a surprisingly deep look into modern American society and hints at the beauty and power of self-discovery, all leading to one of the most brilliant and powerful final acts in film history. Truly one of the best.
Oh, and if you're one of those people who thinks the feminists ruined this movie, get the hell outta here.

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