Our System in Society | Fight Club

It’s been 20 years since David Fincher directed on one of the most mind-blowing adaptations of Chuck Palahniuk, “Fight Club“. There is a lot of opinions, whether this film tells about the death of capitalism or even more. When I first saw this movie, I just thought that this was one of the best plot twist movies ever. I watched it because of several reasons. First, because of the Top Rated Movies on IMDb. Secondly, this film appears to be one of the best plot twists in movies of all time. And third, I’m just curious. So, it just so happens why “Fight Club” always said to be one of those films you never talked about.

Whether this movie is disturbing, radical or anything, “Fight Club” has many questions about modern life. It’s about our obsession with furniture, fear of the youth if they lose control or people who try to manipulate each other. The film criticizes a culture and cynical view of American masculinity and culture. Jans B. Wager regards this film as a retro-noir, focusing on this consumerism culture being one of the problems but our obsession with one thing. It’s an examination of how a system if one of its users loses control. The system will be affected and scrutinized.

Consumerism, the misinterpreted social order in the system

There is a misused definition between consumption and consumerism. Consumption is a high-appetite in each individuality, the most mass media exploitation. Whereas, consumerism is a social-economic order, changes because of a certain movement. This movement exists because the treatment of producers is detrimental to the consumer, whether it’s harmed in terms of benefits, quality or quantity. Society is consumerism itself including Edward Norton as the narrator. In terms of the character, he feels self-aware to himself, feel insecure in his workplace and his people behave the same both in terms of psychology and metaphor.

Consumerism divided according to what men and women used. There is soap for men as a symbol of masculinity, there are make-up products for women as a symbol of the beauty myth. Clothing and everything never change masculinity because self-awareness and look change their appearance. There is no sold in ourself because they got it from the first place, plus frequent masturbation is the only thing you can improvise. Like Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden, life depends on nothing, doesn’t depend on a system, and prefers playing outside the system. What Durden likes about himself is making his own materialism, no matter who you are, so you can join the club. He is the mastermind of Project Mayhem, in destroying the core center of the system, chaos is the main key.

The rise and fall of revolution; between capitalism and consumerism

Tyler Durden is a revolutionary icon, know what he did, has personality than everybody. He is a strength to a democratic symbol, an act as an expression of a fascist movement; still holds tightly to the ideology of democracy. On the other hand, the narrator is a symbol of capitalism itself but more critical thinking. He knows what redemption he got from such masculinity, promise to someday, romanticizing violence is a good character. There is a simple moment when Durden gives Raymond, the store clerk, the choice to tell him to run away from his ties: to ignore the dynamic of them or to escape reality.

While Raymond has to escape the fear and anarchic nature of Durden, it makes sense like the narrator as well. The narrator is in a strong bond and puts a lot of attention when he manages to throw everything into their club. They both live in an abandoned house, trying to find a more cynical view to give them hope. Both of them, in fact, failed. They failed to reach their ethnicity, politics, and ideology. Capitalism and consumerism failed to merge into one. Make them as a not-the-same-and-not-different coin. However, it still depends on each other which is the same person.

The same coin; different personality

We know the deal, the narrator and Tyler Durden are the same people. But, they have one equally different personality. The narrator respects a system while Durden doesn’t. The narrator is the protagonist in this movie, even we never know who his real name was. Norton never tells us, credit at once, and also David Fincher. However, we never know what are the strong reasons for their two characters. The narrator only once tells a hint for his own name, even though it doesn’t seem to be his real name, his name is Jack. Norton is too nil even to recognize and know his own name is very difficult. He suffers schizophrenia, a mental illness where a person cannot feel, know, and distinguish around him.

In the same name, schizophrenia, according to the character of the narrator, is losing an identity, unable to distinguish reality and fantasy. He creates his own alter ego, creates his own world, but never realizes intellectuals could destroy delusions in his world. He is difficult to feel people, difficult to understand feelings, so cold, and very difficult to feel emotions. His relationship between Marla didn’t go smoothly. Sex cannot feel himself, except violence itself so that it creates its own character for him. There is no citizen, doesn’t know his actions directly, there is no clear motive in his violence and his project. It’s just a copy of himself, the people around him, Marla, Durden, Jack, except the system.

The rejection of society: the Fight Club

The first rule of the Fight Club is to never talk about Fight Club. And the second rule of the Fight Club is to never talk about Fight Club. Although Fight Club is an outlet movement to a system, people in the club enjoy it. They punch each other, not thinking about who is stronger, who is the winner, who is the weaker, and who is the coward. It’s just an outlet to the system. They don’t want Fight Club to be the highest pyramid in society, they don’t want Fight Club to be known in the system. They have to keep their mouths shut and must reject the provision of a system, consumerism.

In spite in its term, Fight Club became a system of its own which in the end, was destroyed by the same people. They failed to understand the first rule and the second rule. They talked about Fight Club but indirectly created slavery in their own system. The club has its own vision and mission, being part of the resistance to the system. They created various chaos and became the first point of Project Mayhem. Initially, the narrator felt alive and felt present in his artificial system as if Tyler had released him from the slavery system. As long as the revelation, he really aware and thinks from the start if this is really wrong, deleting his sense of respect for his own society. Finally, he tried to improve and fix everything.

The integrity of women

Helena Bonham Carter’s Marla Singer, at first glance, just exist in one purpose: confusing the narrator’s mind. The narrator when he first saw Marla’s presence was very disturbed. He disturbed by anything, her style, her cigarette, everything. In Fight Club, there is no woman and we really stick with it because all of these people just need masculinity. Marla is just a character with nothing, an outlet for the narrator to fill his lust by sex. On the other hand, Marla acts as a doctor for the narrator or even Tyler. However, the most affected are the narrator. It’s like the only escapism the narrator has besides his own club, his own system. When one of them falls, the narrator’s world is collapsed along with those systems.

The overpraised of “Fight Club”

It’s hard to think this as a movie about masculinity, sexist, or fascism; or this is one of the relics of fascism, left-wing, and libertarianism. Roger Ebert quote one critic: “a telling point about the best nature of man” and “the numbing effects of day-to-day drudgery cause people to go a little crazy”. So, is Durden’s philosophy itself a criticism of us as well, which is a very overpraised film? Is masculinity everything? Do you need to adapt to real estate in a more wild environment? While I really love this movie not because I can make it a highlight, this movie is more than anything.

Palahniuk said that “Fight Club” is a satire and an examination of horror in a lie. Because, people want to see the country, or the system, where they live, destroyed because of a differentiate. Whether the difference in terms of ideology or politics, this movie is just horrific. Narcissistic, delusional with each other, nihilism, is part of our reality and reflection. However, people who really appreciate, who watch this film, express their opinions, wrote an article, are all part of the satire. We broke the first rule which means, we broke all the rule in Fight Club.

The funny thing about the author:

Palahniuk once had an altercation while camping, and though he returned to work bruised and swollen, his co-workers avoided asking him what had happened on the camping trip. Their reluctance to know what happened in his private life inspired him to write “Fight Club”

Source: Wikipedia

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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