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Fight Club

Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton plays the unnamed protagonist, referred to as the narrator, who is discontent with his white-collar job. He forms a “fight club” with soap maker Tyler Durden, played by Pitt, and they are joined by men who also want to fight recreationally. The narrator becomes embroiled in a relationship with Durden and a dissolute woman, Marla Singer, played by Bonham Carter.

Plot

The unnamed Narrator is a traveling automobile recall specialist who suffers from insomnia. When he is unsuccessful at receiving medical assistance for it, the admonishing doctor suggests he realize his relatively small amount of suffering by visiting a support group for testicular cancer victims. The group assumes that he, too, is affected like they are, and he spontaneously weeps into the nurturing arms of another man, finding a freedom from the catharsis that relieves his insomnia. He decides to participate in support groups of various kinds, always allowing the groups to assume that he suffers what they do. However, he begins to notice another impostor, Marla Singer, whose presence reminds him that he is attending these groups dishonestly, and this disturbs his bliss. The two negotiate to avoid their attending the same groups, but, before going their separate ways, Marla gives him her phone number.

On a flight home from a business trip, the Narrator meets Tyler Durden, a soap salesman with whom he begins to converse after noticing the two share the same kind of briefcase. After the flight, the Narrator returns home to find that his apartment has been destroyed by an explosion. With no one else to contact, he calls Tyler, and they meet at a bar. After a conversation about consumerism, outside the bar, Tyler chastises the Narrator for his timidity about needing a place to stay. Tyler requests that the Narrator hit him, which leads the two to engage in a fistfight. The Narrator moves into Tyler's home, a large dilapidated house in an industrial area of their city. They have further fights outside the bar on subsequent nights, and these fights attract growing crowds of men. The fighting eventually moves to the bar's basement where the men form a club ("Fight Club") which routinely meets only to provide an opportunity for the men to fight recreationally.

Marla overdoses on pills and telephones the Narrator for help; he eventually ignores her, leaving his phone receiver without disconnecting. Tyler notices the phone soon after, talks to her and goes to her apartment to save her. Tyler and Marla become sexually involved. He warns the Narrator never to talk to Marla about him. More fight clubs form across the country and, under Tyler's leadership (and without the Narrator's knowledge), they become an anti-materialist and anti-corporate organization, Project Mayhem, with many of the former local Fight Club members moving into the dilapidated house and improving it.

The Narrator complains to Tyler about Tyler excluding him from the newer manifestation of the Fight Club organization Project Mayhem. Soon after, Tyler leaves the house without notice. When a member of Project Mayhem is killed by the police during a botched sabotage operation, the Narrator tries to shut down the project. Seeking Tyler, he follows evidence of Tyler's national travels. In one city, a Project Mayhem member greets the Narrator as Tyler Durden. The Narrator calls Marla from his hotel room and discovers that Marla also believes him to be Tyler. Tyler suddenly appears in his hotel room, and reveals that they are dissociated personalities in the same body. When the Narrator has believed himself to be asleep, Tyler has been controlling his body and traveling to different locations.

The Narrator blacks out after the conversation, and when he awakes, he uncovers Tyler's plans to erase debt by destroying buildings that contain credit card companies' records. The Narrator tries to warn the police, but he finds that these officers are members of the Project. He attempts to disarm the explosives in a building, but Tyler subdues him and moves him to the uppermost floor. Held at gunpoint by Tyler, the Narrator realizes that, in sharing the same body with Tyler, he himself is actually in control holding "Tyler's" gun. The Narrator fires it into his own mouth, shooting through the cheek without killing himself. Tyler collapses with an exit wound to the back of his head, and the Narrator stops mentally projecting him. Afterward, Project Mayhem members bring a kidnapped Marla to him, believing him to be Tyler, and leave them alone. Holding hands, the Narrator and Marla watch as the explosives detonate, collapsing many buildings around them.

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