Alluring Fight (A film analysis of Fight Club) by Sharmane Isidro


I’ve enjoyed this film quite a lot, and I believe that there really is a deeper meaning to this that what we all saw from the film. It’s obvious that there will always be a number of meanings in any movie or film, a subliminal statement that is normally taken with a variety of interpretations. In Fight Club I have noticed quite a few, and since it has been awhile since I’ve seen this film, all I can remember is the general outline. It is a blow on mainstream society, to quote a certain character “We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.” Doesn’t that statement have more than just a ring of truth, while the statement may be to or false depending on the audience in question, it is undoubtedly something we see on a daily basis or less if we actually try to detach ourselves from these shallow individuals suggested in the popular phrase.

From what I’ve heard the film which was based on a novel of the same name, said novel based on the demographics differ much from the film, and with a majority believing that the latter is of more value to watch than the former has to read. I hear that the reason for this is due to the ending scene. But back to what I was trying to say, this also tackles basic themes such as the stress being a major component in resulting with a multi-personality disorder, do we believe this? Maybe, still another theme, is something probably obvious, the one that somehow says that the dredges of society are the true rulers. Why? Although it is true that higher-ups run the overall managerial decisions on people’s direction of work, the working class are the ones who can decide the fate of the high and mighty who rely on their raw manpower. So if these laymen were to decide to unite and act out on their suppressed frustrations, there would be dire consequences. After all is not man entitled to the sweat of his brow?
Somehow I am also lead to believe that the neurotic will lead, does it not? Tyler Durden is simply the alter-ego of our sad protagonist who tries to escape his somewhat monotonous existence, he simply feels the want to be alive. The need, rather. And nearing the end of the film is when it is revealed to the audience that in the very beginning of fight club, only our lone protagonist is engaged in a brawl with himself and no other. It shows that man’s masochistic tendencies with various nihilistic behaviors tends to sway others, the fascination with lawlessness and violence. This is the reason why even seemingly sane individuals seek and adhere to the mad preaching of the eccentric who lives a life they’ve wished they had. So in other words, even when our insane protagonist was only beating himself in the start, he had managed to attract people who wanted to join in on the random violence that he initiated. Even if it was obvious he had more than a slight lack of sanity, some people wanted in on his gig. The neurotic leads? Of course no one would deny that Hitler was insane, he was insane yes, but with his mad charm, people followed. There are many films that portray mad character with more than an abundance of charisma.
I think there is always more than a little meaning to any random scene in any film, which may even be at times more significant than the general theme of said film. For example, in the scene where our man splices in single frames of pornographic material at random parts of a decent film being viewed in a cinema theater. It was about subliminal messaging, that because it’s only barely receptable to our senses, or only flashes for such a short or time that it actually leaves more of impression on the passive individual. I believe that there was a certain point in time where subliminal advertising was banned due to is hypnotic nature. Is this really true, since it’s a psychologically based analysis, results may vary from one individual to another.

To add random insight, why do you think we always have an allure with one-on-one fights? For one who enjoys random acts of violence, does it not make more sense that lynching a random victim would result to more euphoria? Does this somehow imply the people involved in the fight club are not just your repressed delinquents who favor physical injury and the like? Maybe or maybe there is really this specific honor or glory that one craves for which can only be attained via mano-a-mano. In most Japanese animation, the good guys along with the bad actually do respect the one-on-one concept. Even in sports such as in martial arts and in boxing, UFC and etc., one-on-one fights are the only way to go, unless maybe we’re watching WWE or ECW which is plainly for entertainment purposes. Somehow there is always a rule in such fights. In Fight Club, somewhere the rules are stated, one fight at a time, and no shoes, also with a rule which states if it’s your first time, you have to fight. Although there are more rules concerning the manner of fights, it is clear the sanctity of the 1 vs 1 is to be acknowledged.


Also it shows that where ever you are, in whatever group or association you become a part in, initiations are never skipped. Initiations, baptism, entrance exams, etc. it’s a part of our world, and in this world, we always have to prove our worth to someone or to a group of people before we receive our stamp of approval. Does it unsettle us, that we always have to be worth something before we can be part of something? I don’t believe so, because we are always worth something, and even then, there will always be a counter-part for something. In a group where only the most worthless can be a part of, surely there would be no problem unless we have proven that we actually do have some kind of worth. In fight club, although having to be among the dredges of society is not a specific prerequisite to a member of said club, it is obvious that in one way or another, only people of said social class are even the only ones who bother to even be in fight club. After all, how would it benefit a man to be in fight club if he had everything easy, if he didn’t need to work to get what he wanted, it would be impractical?

Let us return to the earlier insights I have provided. There is a reason this film was labelled a cult film, to my knowledge, and in my own personal opinion, the reason why a film becomes a ‘cult film’ is due to it’s manner of acknowledging the people who deviate from the norms. Most cult films do not even produce satisfying box office results, most are box office failures. In the layman’s words, the producers were unable to regain the money lost in it’s production. However, in the DVD release it would normally sell so much more than they would imagine, why so? Because buying a DVD is a lot cheaper than going to cinema alone, and most of these deviated individuals are not always blessed with an abundance of friends to go out with and watch a movie, regardless of their numbers.
There is one more observation on the film I would like to mention, our protagonist falls in love, somehow, in the end it changes quite a few things. I think that no matter who we are or what we believe in, falling in love will always cause things to take an unexpected turn. It shows that whether it’s a mainstream movie or in a cult film, people understand the chaos which love stirs up, if it doesn’t affect your plans or your ambitions, then you are not in love. Even in another cult film, namely American Psycho, it shows that because the anti-hero feels a sort of compassion towards someone, his plans somehow messed up, and results in an alteration of his world whether it was in reality or in fantasy. There should be more to say about fight club, I may have overlooked a number of insights, but it is obvious that in any film, one will never have an exact same observation on the various hidden messages and symbolism contained within. This is one of the greatest films to have been produced, in my opinion, and I believe that no matter how long people try to keep applying new meaning to this, something new will always come up. Because that’s just how we people are. We all have a different way of seeing things. That is why when we watch something as a child, we feel like the movie has changed somehow, even when in reality it simply we, who have changed.



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