Movies to watch before you die: The case of Fight Club
First of all, I know, I KNOW. I broke the first rule of Fight Club. But what to do? One must live with his own choices.
Anyway, what does one visually see in Fight Club? Shirtless men fight between themselves, anarchic/antiauthorative behaviour and sex.
What does one mentally see in Fight Club? Themes of anticonsumerism, an insurection against the status quo and not settling while simoultaneously comprehending how you good you might got it in life.
In my opinion Fight Club is a movie everyone should watch at least twice in their lifetime.
And to be honest? This fucking movie is more relevant than ever right now.
Let's begin with just a short introduction about the movie in general.
Fight Club was directed by David Fincher in 1999 and stars Edward Norton (Primal Fear, Incredible Hulk), Brad Pitt (Come on, you know Brad Pitt) and Helena Bonham Carter (most Tim Burton films,Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Les Miserables). It is based on the novel with the same name from journalist and novelist Chuck Palahniuk.
One fun fact about Fight Club is that executives hated it. They did not know how to advertise the damn film and they thought that they had to keep Brad Pitt on the posters just to attract an audience. They even advertised it during WWF sequences which made viewers comprehend a misleading context about it, since the fight scenes were emphasized.
Moreover, this resulted in the film becoming a box office bomb and the critics crapping all over it. However , thanks to home media, the film received the praise it deserved years afterwards and obtained a cult following. Now that we are done with the boring part, let's analyse what makes this movie a must-watch before you die.
Philosophy of Fight Club
A life of conformity
Fight Club's protagonist is showcased as an anonymous young man who lives in an eternal nightmerish loop where he occasionally visits support groups for people who suffer specific diseases. He never sleeps, he works a job that he despises, he's a prisoner of a consumeristic lifestyle where his only goal in life is to falsely self-improve through purchases of furniture and produts from big conglomerates while zapping uselessly infront of his TV. Conforming to a society's standards and buying his cheap dopamine through products just to feel that he fits in. Numbing himself in a way to convince himself that he is satisfied. Notably, a coward's way of existing. At the end of the day, the narrator realises:
He just swiftly exists in this universe, pushing himself to find a meaningful reason for his life. I will not spoil anything more because I want you to see the movie.
A generation of Flexing
We live in the generation of Social Media. We keep flexing our way into others' lives. We want to impress people with our stuff, our possessions and social media gives out the opportunity to show it out to the world. What started out as a mean of keeping in touch with old friends, has turned into a worldwide wealth flexing competition where each one of us is a player, no matter how much we try to deny it. Influencers keep advertising you stuff, ads keep showing you the things you talk about, TV shows, applications and self-proclaimed "life coaches" and everything you use keep shoving down your throat things to spend your hard earned money on. Products, services, books, programs, self-improvement bullshit.
And we keep falling for it. How do I know? Just look at how Amazon and all these influencers keep flourishing.
At the end of the day, we are not ourselves, we are the things that we own. We are slaves to the the people that patent the best out of the worst. Just like Brad Pitt's character claimed:
We should all realise that material possessions should mean nothing to one's identity. We should realise that.
“You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” - Tyler Durden
This illusion of self-improvement through the never-ending consumption has corrupted how we exist. And Fight Club perfectly portrays that. It shows you that this form of self-improvement is in the same spectrum as masturbation according to Tyler Durden. Why? Because it has lost its meaning. Self improvement is revolved around the creation of an identity around your possesions.
Losing all hope is freedom
The paranoia we have in all our life regarding a purpose is something that brings out the worst in us. Attempting to create meaning in a meaningless world is a thought at the back of our head that keeps torturing us even in our happiest days. We try to fill that void through religion and meaningless goals just to feel something, just to excuse the point of our existence. We keep moving, distracting ourselves just to come to a certain position in which we will not be satisfied. We'll keep wanting more, and for what? Status? Wealth? Fame? What is it that we truly desire? At the end of the day you should realise that:
This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
Reaching an imaginary rock bottom is what we need to comprehend the full reality of the word freedom. Freedom is the ability to fully realize that we are going to die. That even if God exists, he may hate us. Why would he let us suffer in this world anyway?But we should not be nihilistic and depressive about this.
We should embrace that we do not need God. We should all understand the absurdity of our existence and we should accept it.
You do not need an almighty power to give your existence meaning. Religious or not, you should realize that losing all hope is freedom. To truly comprehend what we want to extract from our live, we need to let go. You cannot control what exists and what doesn't. There are events that are spanning that are simply out of your control. Instead of trying to grasp onto a meaning, simply let go.
Losing all hope is freedom
Masculinity in the 2020s
And now we reach my favourite part. Fight Club tackles the problems of modern masculinity. Men are not what they were. Society has taken most of violence out of our lives. However, pain is what makes us strong, it's what makes us alive. Pushing through the pain should be embraced, not postponed, not avoided.
The conformity of a new world has emasculated men. It gave them a safe space which grants them the opportunity to sit back and relax and become one with the never-ending consumeristic void. Men accept mediocrity as a way of living. They are humorously talking about gaining weight, getting yelled at by their partner, how their kids overpower them, how they hate their lives and the list goes on. For the average man, progression is looked as trying too hard, manly attitude is seen as toxic and working on their looks is seen as nihilistic. However, when a celebrity does this, it is seen as influential, as a behaviour to follow.
We are a generation of men raised by women, I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.
Slave Morality is something that we have adapted because we are too scared to stand out, we do not want to go agains the masses. A man is told that the pleasure of existence originates from marrying, from family, from situations where he depends on other people. This should not be the case! Pleasure of existence comes from within. You create your utopia.
While I want to go further into these subjects, I want to let you experience the movie for yourself. Fight Club is a movie filled with subliminal messages and it deserves your undeserving attention. Not only because of that. An emerging plot, colorful characters, beautiful visuals and a story that will force you into an introspection about your position in the world.
If you have watched the movie my DMs will be open for any discussions