I chose to do my first initial reaction essay on Fight Club because of how incredible it is and because of all the material and insight it gives me. Based on the title, most would assume that this would be a film of a bunch of dudes beating the snot out of each other. But, out of all the major themes present in this movie, the fighting is almost insignificant in comparison. A piece of the film that could be considered as playing a minor role in the production is actually one of the most creative and one of the most expensive parts of the film, the title sequence.
The opening scene uses very creative visual effects and follows the narrator’s fear impulse through his brain’s neural network pulling out to the gun that is in his mouth. The title sequence is so smoothly done and could not have been a more perfect way to introduce the film. Another creative visual effect present in the film is the captions on the furniture in the narrator’s apartment as if it were in a furniture catalogue. Another well- made visual effect is the ending in which the buildings collapse in the background as the narrator and Marla Singer hold hands.
An even more creative aspect to the film is the editing. To elaborate, the character Tyler Durden is a figment of the narrator’s imagination and is edited in as a quick flash four times before the narrator initially meets him. This is significant in that it shows that Tyler was always there but didn’t instigate until the narrator wanted him to. Also, in the last scene of the film, the editors subtly added a single frame flash of male genitalia, just like Tyler Durden would insert into films at his projectionist job. It should go without saying that the actors in this film play a major role in its uccess and captivate the tone of the movie perfectly. Credit goes to the casting directors for choosing the best actors for their suited roles. Edward Norton is one of my favorite actors because he embodies every character he plays, this holds true in his portrayal of the narrator.
Norton plays an average Joe with insomnia and a dead-end job who finds release in fighting and other people’s suffering, and (by the end of the film) personifies insanity. Brad Pitt captures Tyler Durden’s cocky, smooth talking, pretty boy persona perfectly. I was surprised how well Helena Bonham Carter (a British actress) epitomized he American, dissolute, druggy that is Marla Singer. I was also very surprised to find that the singer song-writer Meatloaf is in this film and I was even more surprised at how well he portrayed the soft-spoken sad sack of a man whose name is Robert Paulson. To conclude, I understand now after watching why this film is as successful as it is. The actors embody their suited roles perfectly, the visual effects are smooth and creative, the production design and lighting (or lack thereof) set the dark tone of the movie, and the subtle editing throughout the film make for a very entertaining, dark, and funny movie.