Fight Club is one of those generational films that everyone loves but it may be a little too over the edge for some. Not in a gory or ghastly way, but by philosophical means. The meaning of life and why we exist– that type of prattle. But when you realize what Fight Club adds up to, it will leave you mesmerized. Although I’ll admit you will have to probably watch the movie 2+ times to let everything sink in because sometimes you just won’t get it until the end. Then you have to go back to make sure you didn’t dream it all.
Fight Club Storyline
An average guy in every way suddenly cannot sleep. With a severe case of insomnia, he sees a doctor who doesn’t see his medical issue as a serious problem and doesn’t give him any treatment. The doctor also makes a sarcastic remark about patients struggling with real issues being in support groups. Being an insomniac desperate for some type of relief, he decides to attend a support group. It becomes an obsession, after crying on the shoulder of a testicular cancer survivor and realizing that crying relieves insomnia. He signs on for support groups for a ton of different types of diseases.
When Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) begins to show up at some of these groups, Cornelius returns to being an insomniac. Marla’s presence doesn’t allow him to cry and prevents him from sleeping. That’s when he meets Tyler Durden. Tyler isn’t afraid of a damn thing and encourages him to start a Fight Club and to start making soap. This club is where men fight it out bare-knuckle boxing style until their teeth fall out and their eyes are purple. This seems to be another way to cure insomnia and becomes his new form release.
Interesting enough, but what does it all mean?
**Beyond here, you are entering nothing but spoilers. You have been warned. **
Psychologically, Mr. Insomnia is going through behavioral problems that require psychological treatment. Living his life as he is expected and not as he truly wants to is allowing his real emotions to build up somewhere in the back of his subconscious. Cornelius has decorated his house exactly like Ikea showcases. He goes to work every day and follows the guidelines, although he’d like to tell his boss where he can shove his cornflower blue tie. Cornelius doesn’t express these feelings and they bottle up within him causing severe insomnia.
So, the different support groups for gravely ill patients becomes his form of psychotherapy. In pretending to be like the others, he connects with their pain and releases his emotions through crying. Marla Singer’s presence disrupts this cycle because she reminds him that he doesn’t belong in those groups. I mean, Marla is sitting in a testicular cancer group smoking a cigarette. It’s so obvious that she doesn’t belong and he is reminded that he is also lying in those groups.
If he’s nuts, Marla is insane. For reasons neither I or Cornelius can understand, Marla also enjoys going to all these support groups. He strikes a deal with her and hopes to never see her again, till he meets Tyler.
Tyler starts Fight Club and Cornelius begins to change. He comes into work with his face beaten to a pulp and blood stains on his perfect work shirt. He moves into an abandoned house with Tyler that is falling apart. Far from the OCD strategic Ikea layout, he had in his apartment.
But when things start to get too crazy for him, he is unable to make anything stop. Then he begins to notice periods of time that he can’t remember. And soon he realizes, that he is actually Tyler Durden.
All that emotional storage + insomnia = split personality. CORNELIUS is a fake name he used at the support group meetings. Tyler Durden is actually Edward Norton and Brad Pitt is a figment of his imagination. Brad Pitt looks the way and acts the way that Edward Norton wishes he could be. When Brad’s personality takes over, Edward Norton blacks out. Brad’s been running around town directing Fight Club and setting up a bomb made out of the same soap he has everyone making. But they are one and the same.
You’re going to have to watch the movie to see how they end this one. But isn’t that reveal absolutely NUTS?
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