If memory serves me right this was the first Brad Pitt movie I ever saw. Back in those days when I had just bought my laptop, this was the first DVD I popped into it and watched. And therefore, when after 4 long years, I decided to re-watch this movie again, it kind of brought back good memories.
The movie starts off with the protagonist (played by Edward Norton, who funnily enough doesn’t have a name in the movie) being tied to a chair with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) by his side holding a gun to his face. The story itself is a recall of the sequence of events that led to this situation.
The narrator is a ‘Recall inspector’ with an automobile company whose job is to perform assessments of automobile accidents to decide whether the particular car is worth a ‘recall’. He is an insomniac who finds his ‘therapy’ in various support groups ranging from testicular cancer victims to tuberculosis sufferers. These groups instil in him a sense of the real sufferings of these people, which in turn help him temporarily overcome his insomniac tendencies. His routine is disturbed by the presence of Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) who he realizes is just another impostor in these meetings.
On one of his business trips, he bumps into Tyler Durden who apparently is a manufacturer and seller of soaps. When he arrives home, he discovers that his entire condo is burnt in a fire accident, and instinctively he picks up the phone and calls up Tyler. This is pretty much the beginning of a wierd relationship between the two of them. After a couple of drinks on this night, they end up enjoying a fist fight outside the bar. The narrator then moves in with Tyler, and subsequently establish a ‘fight club’ in the basement of the bar.
The movement catches speed and soon the club mushrooms branches in most important cities of the US. The club also officially starts recruiting members for ‘Project Mayhem’ which starts committing destructive acts of vandalism in the city. In the meantime, Marla is also rescued by Tyler when she tries to commit suicide. This encounter of theirs leads to them sleeping with each other and in general start a relationship.
When Project Mayhem slowly starts getting out of control, the narrator retraces Tyler’s steps across cities trying to stop him. In the course of this journey, he realizes something that is pretty much the pivotal point of this film. What he realizes is something that I simply cannot reveal in this review as it will pretty much spoil the entire movie for anybody who has not already seen it. What I can promise you however is that the last 20 minutes of so after this realization, pretty much turns the movie around on its head and is what makes this movie the ‘cult movie’ that it really is.
The backbone of this movie is the characterization of the narrator, Tyler Durden and Marla Singer. These characters are backed by some really strong performances from Ed Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter. The movie is reasonably fast paced without pausing to let the viewers take a break in between. All in all, this is one movie which I wouldn’t mind watching a few more times, simply because it has a lot of recall value.
Related links –
Rotten Tomatoes link