Good morning and happy tuesday hoddlers. Today is rubbish collection day. Let us hope your hoddler-in-chief’s barrel does not vanish.
I want to talk about Fight Club today. Yeah, I know: “The first rule about Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club.” Yes, I know: “The second rule about Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club.”
But I don’t care. Rules be damned, I’m talking about it anyway.
Your hoddler-in-chief never watched the film Fight Club. It felt a bit of a cliche to me. A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of the book instead, and finished it last week. This weekend I watched the movie for the first time.
I have some thoughts.
First: The movie is boring. What I enjoyed most about reading the book was that it was chaotic. Not everything perfectly fit together, but I thought that was the point. It had a sense of urgency to it - Project Mayhem, the soap, the actual fighting. The film was more rushed than chaotic.
And, because of that, it neglected some of the biggest components of the story. Two of the most consequential settings were Trinity Episcopal and The Narrator’s place of work. So how can so little time be spent there? The church was a character in itself in the book, I felt, where we learned so much about The Narrator’s relationship with Marla. And one of the biggest scenes took place just outside The Narrator’s office.
And Edward Norton was so boring. I understand that books are different than films, and a film cannot capture a solitary reader’s imagination. While I do appreciate the narration was mostly verbatim with the book’s text, the character wasn’t the one I had interpreted it to be.
I nearly fell asleep watching this, so I split it into two nights.
Second: Where is the soap? It’s not the most important thing in the world, I know, but it’s a vessel that carries the story forward - that helps us to understand how Project Mayhem is formed and of The Narrator’s relationship with Marla. Instead the film uses the fat collected by Tyler and The Narrator in slapstick comedy.
Second: Why change the entire ending like that? I’ll tell you why - it’s because the film ignored two of the most important settings. Again: the church and the office. The others from the support group and Marla were supposed to be at the climax, which happened several chapters after the Narrator was nearly cut up outside his place of work. In the film this happens at a police station. How is a police station more interesting of a location than a bus (which is where it actually happened)? I just don’t get it.
Third: For all the moments we get with Durden and The Narrator, we get so few with The Narrator and Marla. Author Chuck Palahniuk considered the book to be a romance, and I understand that after having read it. Marla and The Narrator spend such little time during the film that it feels forced when they are together at the end. And, again, the pivotal moment that builds to the finale occurs at the church. These settings, characters and themes build on each other. When you take several of these away, what you create is a superficial shock thriller.
Fight Club is a weird book, but captivating in how it eviscerates the concept of manhood. The quirky elements of the book and the graphic details within it help the reader to understand The Narrator’s descent into chaos, his longing for companionship and his ultimate redemption.
The film, while a cult classic, feels like one side-reel gag after side-reel gag. It was a disappointment.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Paradise By the Dashboard Light, by Meat Loaf
And now for your links:
Dan KP: Why a sensational Conte-Pochettino swap should not be entirely ruled out
Alasdair Gold: On the recent reports of Conte and PSG, plus release clause talk
Bar Standards Board clears barrister over Hillsborough remarks
Leeds move five points clear of relegation zone with draw versus Palace
Everton want answers from PGMOL over Anthony Gordon penalty claim