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If you don’t understand Fight Club, David Fincher can’t help you

Decades later, people still don't seem to grasp what Fight Club is really about. We're baffled, and so is David Fincher. It's a mystery.

David Fincher can't help you if you don't understand Fight Club

Fight Club is a ’90s classic, but it has been taken up as a favorite movie by some of the worst people in the world. The movie’s director David Fincher has made his views very clear, though. If you can’t find the true message of Fight Club, then he literally doesn’t know what he can do to help you figure it out.

Fincher addressed the weird cult of Fight Club obsessives in a new interview with The Guardian, explaining that he’s “not responsible for how people interpret things” in one of his best movies. He seemed baffled that the bare-knuckle anarchy perpetrated by Tyler Durden has become a touchstone for the toxic world of the “manosphere”.

“We didn’t make it for them, but people will see what they’re going to see in a Norman Rockwell painting, or Guernica,” said Fincher, who is promoting one of the year’s most stylish new movies – Netflix thriller The Killer.

He added: “It’s impossible for me to imagine that people don’t understand that Tyler Durden is a negative influence. People who can’t understand that, I don’t know how to respond and I don’t know how to help them.”

We’re on Fincher’s side here. Fight Club stands among the best ’90s movies because of its uncompromising take on toxic masculinity. It’s a film of sharp edges, sure, but it’s ideologically simple – and it’s not on Tyler Durden’s side at all.

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Durden (Brad Pitt) is such a grotesque and unpleasant influence on the Narrator, played by Edward Norton, that Norton’s character eventually decides to shoot himself in the head to get rid of him. That ending makes the movie’s take on Tyler very clear. He’s not a good guy, so don’t listen to him.

Of course, people are a law unto themselves and many over the years have completely failed to understand the message. There have been numerous reports of real “fight clubs” being started and Durden’s anarchist ideas around “Project Mayhem” are popular in some misguided online circles.

Much like Fincher, we honestly don’t know how to help you if you can’t follow the movie’s ideas. We’ll repeat: the Narrator literally shoots himself in the face to get rid of Tyler’s toxic influence.