The times in which we live are geared toward the entertainment industry. If one is going to input something into society; make a speech, write a book, release a movie, a lot of thought must be put into whether or not it will gain approval from its audience. It is the job of many people to investigate what people want to see and hear, what they will like and what will bomb. The difference in the split ending of the movie Fight Club versus the book Fight Club exists because they were both intended for different audiences. A majority of the movie going population is there to relax and enjoy the show.
The movie was created in such a way as to play to these people. Reading a novel is a much different experience, the reader can interpret and analyze at his own pace. Palahnick s ambiguous ending was geared towards this generalization about readers. The differences that arise in the endings of the film and book are clearly seen when comparing and contrasting them. Artist reasons behind them can also be explained by the fact that they were geared towards different audiences. In the movie Fight Club, David Fincher uses unique, zooming and framing techniques in order to capture the attention of the audience.
He opens the movie with a close up of Edward Norton, a gun in his mouth, sweat running down his face, his Adam s apple throbbing. His scarred face is looking directly at the audience. From the very first scene, the movie has its audience enthralled. It is a sit on the edge of your seat scene that does not take too long and keeps the viewers attention. Camera work is used very effectively to scan the whole scene. The camera sweeps around the garage showing the viewer the explosives and the buildings that are wired and ready to be blown up.
This method of economy mapping is a very effective use of cinematography because within seconds the audience has a grasp on the whole picture. However, as quickly as the audience is drawn into the scene, they are also left hanging as it abruptly ends. The narrator states, And suddenly, I realize that all of this: the gun, the bombs, the revolution has something to do with a girl named Marla Singer. This is all that is said and then the flashback begins. This approach is very dramatic; once again there is a close-up of Edward Norton before a sudden backtrack to the past.
The viewer may have questions, but can sit back and relax knowing that everything will soon be answered. The reader s experience during the opening chapter is a little different. The scene has the same set up: Tyler and the narrator are together in the Parker-Morris building, which is going to be blown up very shortly. However, the main difference is that the scene is much longer. The length allows Chuck Palahniuk to give the reader a better understanding of the characters but at the same time, the reader is left more confused about what is happening. An eerie theme, not prevalent in the movie, of death is started:
First step to eternal life is you have to die You do the job you re trained to do. Pull a lever. Push a button. You don t understand any of it, and then you just die If I knew how all this would turn out, I d be more than happy to be dead and in Heaven right now (11-14). One gets the feeling that this is going to be a dark novel. However, there is a lot of confusion about what is occurring. Who is this person that is narrating? Who is Tyler? What happened between the two of them? But before any of these questions are answered the narrator introduces the reader to one more character, Marla.
Not much information is given however, and a flashback quickly begins. The differences between the pseudo ending that takes place at the beginning of the book and movie are already a good indication that the two will end in fairly different manners. In the beginning of the book Marla s character is developed more fully than she is in the movie. The relationship between Marla and the two characters is clearly explained, We have sort of a triangle here. I want Tyler. Tyler wants Marla. Marla wants me. I don t want Marla, and Tyler doesn t want me around, not anymore (14).
Marla s character is intertwined with the narrator and Tyler. From this explanation the reader can interpret that Marla may be the reason that Tyler has a gun in the narrator s mouth. In the movie less information about Marla is disclosed. The viewer only knows what the narrator says, And then suddenly I realizes that all of this has something to do with Marla Singer. Beginning the story with the end was effective in both cases. The book captured the audiences attention with future information whereas the movie used futuristic visual effects, but the end result was the same. It gave the story a flowing quality.
Confusion is created, the flashback gave some information to clear things up and then you wrap around full circle and are back to where you left off. Three minutes. The reader/viewer is reminded that the flashback has ended and that the end is here again. The book and the movie take two very distinct paths. Your typical happy American ending takes over the otherwise untypical movie. The struggle between Tyler and the narrator is clearly spelled out. There isn t a doubt that the narrator is the good guy trying to win the fight and that Tyler is the bad guy. Gray lines are eliminated.