One option for an individual suffering from insomnia is to channel surf in search of a good film, pop in a DVD, or download a movie. If you want to really want to contemplate your suffering, take in a movie in which insomnia is part of the plot line. Yesterday, this column reviewed “Taxi Driver,” a film where the main character suffers from insomnia and earlier this summer, it critiqued "Insomnia." Another movie about an insomniac is “Fight Club,” from 1999. Like “Taxi Driver,” “Fight Club” caused a lot of controversy when it was released.
The film stars Edward Norton as an unnamed narrator, and the audience sees the events unfold from his sometimes unreliable perspective. He works as a recall investigator for a car company. Because of his insomnia, he has not slept in months. He finds some solace by attending the meetings of various support groups for people with disorders he does not share. The narrator goes to many different support group meetings and notices another person like him, Marla Singer (played by Helena Bonham Carter). He is uncomfortable going to meetings with their shared status as interlopers, so they work out schedules to prevent them from going to the same meeting at the same time. One evening on a plane, the narrator meets Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt), a soap salesman. When he returns home to find his home has blown up, he and Tyler meet for drinks. Afterwards, the narrator asks if he can stay at Tyler’s home. Tyler agrees on the condition that the narrator punch him. One punch leads to fisticuffs, but they both find this physical conflict therapeutic. Shortly after, they start an underground fight club.
“Fight Club” is directed with great style by David Fincher. He gives the film a memorable opening credits sequence. Also, he makes the fight scenes brutal and realistic.
Edward Norton is excellent as the narrator, who is disturbed, but ultimately not as unhinged as Tyler. Brad Pitt is equally compelling. He brings a lot of charisma to his role. Helena Bonham Carter is also great as Marla, who comes to care for both Tyler and the narrator.
“Fight Club” is a must-see for its interesting story and memorable performances.