The rule in China is not to talk about the true end of Fight Club. Therefore, the government authorities -although they allowed that iconic title from 1999 to arrive on a local platform of streaming— chose to modify its explosive outcome for one less problematic for their interests. However, this maneuver would have done nothing more than reconcile the film’s course of action with that of the original novel, according to its famous author.
Just this week, reports came in that censorship in China decided to alter the outcome of Fight Club, the tape directed by David Fincher, following its launch on the server of video on demand Tencent Video. In the original feature film, the culminating moment consists of the detonation of several bombs in bank headquarters, according to Tyler Durden’s cumbersome plan whose objective was to eradicate all credit information.
Well, that ending – which also included the emblematic shot of Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter, watching the collapse of buildings from a window – was suppressed by the Chinese government. Instead, they mounted an intertitle explaining that law enforcement prevented the catastrophe and arrested the unstable Tyler.
“Through the tip provided by Tyler, the police quickly discovered the entire plan and arrested all the criminals,” the epilogue dictates. “Thus they successfully prevented the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to an asylum for lunatics and received psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
Y Chuck Palahniuk, author of the novel Fight Club that inspired the film of the same name, has something to say about it. In a recent interview with TMZ, the North American writer commented that he perceived something very ironic in that act of censorship exercised over the conclusion of the film.
“The irony is that because of the way the Chinese have changed it, they have aligned the end [de la película] almost exactly with the ending of the book, unlike Fincher’s ending, which is a more visually spectacular ending. So, in a way, the Chinese kind of brought the movie back to the book,” he said.
In the original novel, the explosives ultimately fail and the protagonist ends up shooting himself in the mouth with a pistol. Some time later, he wakes up in a psychiatric hospital, believing he is in Heaven, until some hospital employees —who turn out to be members of his criminal organization— reveal to him that the destruction plans are still going on.
On the other hand, Chuck Palahniuk opined that it is not necessary to turn to the authorities in China to witness a constant hunger for censorship. After all, he himself usually suffers from the little or no diffusion of his work in the United States. Let us remember that Palahniuk is an exponent of transgressive fiction, where the characters break with social norms and expectations, with a clear anti-system stance.
“My books are heavily banned throughout the United States. The Texas prison system refuses to allow my books into their libraries. Many public schools and most private schools refuse to take my books. But is it only a problem once China changes the ending of a movie? I have been enduring the ban on my books for a long time,” he said.
In Mexico, Fight Club It is currently available within the Netflix, Prime Video and Star Plus catalogues.
The entry Fight Club Author Sees “Irony” in New Movie Ending in China was published first on Cine PREMIERE.