First rule? Just make sure you watch it! – Gray Holland on ‘Fight Club’

An absolutely stellar film which you really should not watch when tired (from personal experience), and this in itself is ironic because spoiler alert, the main character is an insomniac played by Edward Norton of less than stellar Incredible Hulk and emotionally scarring American History X fame, as well as, of course, Fight Club.

In Fight Club Norton plays The Narrator.
Yes that’s the only name we get for him. I spent most of my viewing time just referring to him as Ed so that’s what I’m going to refer to him as during this review, but he’s credited as The Narrator.

Anyway, Ed is an insomniac. He has a boring job, in a boring world, which he narrates with the monotonous quality you expect from someone who might as well be reading the IKEA catalogue for at least 3 minutes of the film, mentioning by name at least 6 pieces of IKEA brand furniture. He rattles off a lot of profound and philosophical thoughts, in this same voice, about material worth, the population, jobs and the professional world, and he complains about being tired. So tired that he goes to testicular cancer group therapy session, despite not having testicular cancer. While at this therapy session however, he discovers a freedom in crying into a large man’s chest that allows him to sleep at night.
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Unfortunately for our narrator, Marla turns up, and suddenly he can’t cry, at all, and he goes back to basically hating everything. He gets so tired that he asks a doctor for medication, just any medication, and the doctor refuses. (If he didn’t there wouldn’t be much story, but oh well.)

Marla, played by Helena Bonham Carter, a serious smoking/drinking/drug addict with wild hair and charity shop clothes, like our narrator, does not have testicular cancer, or brain parasites, or any of the other ailments Ed attends therapy for, and this irritates Ed. He confronts her about this, and she shakes him off initially, before giving him her number and agreeing to split the therapy sessions between them.

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Now, there’s one more character to introduce.

Tyler.

Tyler, played by Brad Pitt, is a soap maker that Ed meets on a plane, they exchange maybe one or two sentences, Tyler gives our narrator his card, and they disembark. Ed then reaches his flat pack IKEA home to find out that it’s been blow to absolute smithereens and there is nothing left of it. So, what does our dear tired narrator, who has just lost all of the IKEA goodness that he loves so much do?

Calls Tyler.

Well actually he calls Marla first, breathes down the phone line and then hangs up. So basically he just calls Tyler.

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He and Tyler go out for a few beers and then they leave the bar. Tyler then confronts our narrator about why he hasn’t asked Tyler if he can stay at Tyler’s house. Ed is rather taken aback, understandably. Then he timidly asks, Tyler gets mad that he’s so timid, and so Ed asks properly, and Tyler says yes.

What was the point in explaining the film this much? Tyler and the narrator are the same person, in case you didn’t know. So who is he calling on the phone? He just wastes money at a pay phone, calling himself.

No-one would pick up the other side, so the call shouldn’t go through.

If this article seems a little hazy, or as if it’s avoiding the main part of the film, well there’s a reason for that.

The first rule of Fight Club, is you don’t talk about Fight Club.

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And before anyone asks questions, I’ll just remind you:

The second rule of Project Mayhem is you do not ask questions, Sir.

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