“Don’t Talk About ***** ****”

“This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.” —The Narrator


***** **** is a 1999 thriller directed by the great David Fincher. A depressed insomniac that goes by “The Narrator” (Edward Norton) starts going to group meetings in desperation to cure his insomnia but is interrupted when he finds out that a strange woman, Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), is also attending the support meetings. Later, he meets a strange soap salesman on a plane named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). Tyler is everything that The Narrator wants to be: handsome, fit, and confident. He soon finds himself living with Tyler in an old decrepit house, after his perfect apartment, a model of consumerism, is blown up. They start an underground club where men fight each other, in search of excitement from their boring, ordinary lives. The Narrator finally has a purpose, and no longer feels empty and worthless. But when Tyler starts a relationship with Marla, The Narrator becomes annoyed and his relationship with both of them turns sour. The Narrator feels controlled by Tyler and he is now fully roped into the ***** **** scheme. He later finds out what he has gotten into and the truth behind his mysterious, soap-selling friend.

Although this film came out over 20 years ago, it truly embodies modern American culture. It mocks American consumerism and how it has taken over the joys of life. In the film, Tyler Durden said, “‘The things you own end up owning you.” Modern society has led us to believe that you are defined by the number of consumer goods you have. However, ***** **** explores what happens when you disregard the norms of today’s society, and instead join a group of domestic terrorists. The idea of doing the wrong thing with the right intentions is explored as the club successfully finishes what it set out to do: remove all forms, acts, and symbols of American materialism. 



Samuel Bueno – 9.1/10 : Regarding the plot, cinematography, characters, and message, ***** **** is a masterpiece. The twist at the end was one of the greatest unexpected turns of events in film history. However, the effect it leaves on the viewer doesn’t resonate: for example, today’s society would have learned its lesson from the problems shown in the film. Consumerism still is a problem in this country.


Leiden van Abshoven – 9.5/10 : The simplicity of ***** **** makes it a true masterpiece. Compared to other films that are widely considered masterpieces by critics like Lord of The Rings: Return of The King, or The Godfather, it is not as complex and its run time isn’t near as long. Nonetheless, it manages to convey a serious message to the audience, something that is a problem in the real world. ***** **** also excels in categories movies are often critiqued on like its well-thought-out characters and amazing cinematography without including the bells and whistles that a lot of movies have.  


Sawyer Tarr – 10/10: Watching ***** **** for the first time was probably the greatest moment of my life. The incredibly relatable characters and their perception of the world around them have really shaped me into the person I am today. It is definitely one of the greatest movies of the 21st century, second only to Morbius (2022). I highly recommend that you watch it, just don’t talk about it.