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What Did the Film Distort?

Essay by review  •  October 29, 2010  •  Essay  •  791 Words (4 Pages)  •  932 Views

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What did the film Distort?

A film adaptation of a book can be like hearsay. The author writes a novel to send a certain message. Someone else reads it interprets it in a different way and talks to a film producer. The film producers then take its, leaves out major events, change the ending and make a film with a completely different message than the author. The author then screams bloody murder then takes his cut from the box office. Joesph Boggs, the author of Problems with Adaptation, says "We expect the film to duplicate exactly the experience we had seeing the play or in reading the novel. That is, of course, completely impossible" (Boggs 672). No one told this theory to David Fincher, the director of Fight Club. Fincher stuck almost like glue to the novel. He did however, change a few events in the novel and the ending but stills successfully puts Palahniuk's words on screen that even made Palahniuk happy to earn his profits.

Most of the changes Fincher made to Palahniuk novel were minor and insignificant. One example is the fat Tyler and the narrator used to make soap. In the novel, they steal the fat from Marla. Marla was keeping her mother's liposuction fat for her own plastic surgery. They steal the fat and store it in the Paper Street Soap Company's fridge. In the movie, Fincher had Tyler and the Narrator steal it from a plastic surgery dumpster. In the novels version it could be interpreted as another thing the narrator has done to hurt Marla. Fincher's version gives the audience some humor to see the two characters struggle to smuggle fat. The film still does a good job in emphasizing the damage the narrator does to Marla.

Another minor change was how the narrator met Tyler. In the movie, it says they met on the airplane while he was traveling on the business trip. In the book they met at a nude beach. He went to a nude beach to take a rest from the world "and somehow, by accident, Tyler and I met." Palahniuk is trying to use the nude beach and the nude Tyler as symbolism for birth. When a baby is born, they are naked with no clothing. Tyler was born with no clothing either. Fincher decided not to in that direction and instead the two have a very humorous conversation about emergency exits. Fincher probably decided that the humor aspect of the confrontation would have more value than the symbolism that Palahniuk had.

A more significant change is the movie is less violent than the book. Project Mayhem was changed to be less evil.

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