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Fight Club Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 09/29/2011 07:04 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.4 
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This essay will examine the use of mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound in David Fincher’s psychological thriller, Fight Club (1999). Focusing on the opening sequence, this essay reveals how these stylistic elements intertwine within the narrative to communicate the film’s overall meaning. Genre conventions of a thriller film have audiences expecting to be excited, engaged, and encounter twists within the narrative. The sequence introduces the film’s two main protagonists, the narrator and Tyler Durden, and the character of Bob. Through ongoing subjective narration and flashbacks, the audience gains insight into the narrator’s bland lifestyle, recognises the deterioration of his mental state, and observes his lack of emotional intimacy.

Narrative function:

The opening sequence of Fight Club exposes multiple facets of the narrator’s consciousness; from the gritty, cold atmosphere of his psyche, to how he deals with his mundane work and home life, and his desire for intimacy and comfort. The opening scene highlights the narrator’s disintegrating psyche and loss of control against his dominating alter ego, Tyler Durden. The viewer also learns of the destructive plans of Project Mayhem.

The sequence begins with a relaxed Tyler holding a gun in the mouth of the narrator. Although Tyler’s identity is concealed, the viewer fast becomes aware of his power over the narrator and dangerous attributes, further cemented when Project Mayhem’s plans are revealed.

A sudden flashback brings the viewer into the men’s support group, and introduces Bob, whom the audience recognises shares a particularly special bond with the narrator. This scene highlights the great lengths the narrator will endure to receive intimacy and comfort. Unbeknown to Bob, the narrator has fooled him into believing he suffers from testicular cancer, and upon learning this, the viewer feels increased sympathy towards the narrator, realising the only way he believes he...


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