Film Review: Gone Girl

| October 6, 2014

Image: 20th Century Fox

Words by Jo McTavish

Director: David Fincher
 Gillian Flynn (novel)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry
Synopsis:  With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.

WE exist in a very different world to our parents and their parents, it has become so complicated that we forget about the most important things, one another. Author Gillian Flynn captured the essence of human behaviour, exploring the idea of love or idealising. She made a complicated novel about something so simple, and made it a fucking masterpiece. The end result is now acclaimed director David Fincher’s latest film Gone Girl, this years most compromising story, which will surely leave you speechless.

To me  it did a little more than that. It gave me a feeling I had not had since Spike Jonze’s remake of Old Boy (2013). It was tense, and left me in deep thought. David Fincher, who last directed The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), has once again given us a masterpiece, and this film  would make any fan of Gillian Flynn’s novel proud (especially because she wrote the screenplay). Fincher and Flynn perfectly bring the story of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) alive, as it brings focus to the morning when his wife Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears, which bring on a media  circus,- and a  search and investigation which sees the spotlight turn on Nick as it is suspected that he may not be innocent.

Image: 20th Century Fox

The film has great presence from the beginning, as we go from past to present in the storyline, allowing the flow to be more fluid within the scope of time. “Fincher’ injected his familiar style into Gone Girl, allowing the story to carry a dark tone, and with his regular cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth captured everything the novel was all about.  After the first act, things start to move fast, keeping you on the edge of your seat as everything becomes complicated, and when it gets to the third act you will be blown away. The soundtrack was provided by  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who both composed the score for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Together they created a haunting tone, bringing additional structure to the narrative and keeping us engaged the whole way. I think Fincher can now rest, as his ambitious film is out and it was completely worth the wait.

Ben Affleck who is completely unstoppable at the moment, delivers a superb performance as Nick Dunne. It is really hard to see the truth in his character, as he does not show any emotion. You can’t stop thinking, if he is a poorly grieving husband or selfish murderer, and seeing this reminded me of the Bayden-Clay case. As he tries to find the clues to his wife’s disappearance, the media watches closely and puts their own opinion of the story across, influencing many and making his struggle even more complicated. “Affleck’ proves that he is one of the best of his generation, but more importantly he confirms that he is going to make an incredible Bruce Wayne / Batman. Recognition in many forms will come his way after this.

The main attraction is Rosamund Pike, as the vacant wife Amy Dunne. Just like her husband she is a complicated person, and there is so much mystery behind her, that keeps you intrigued. “Fincher’ gave the two chemistry in diary entry flashbacks, demonstrating the cost of marriage and how two people can or can’t make it work. “Rosamund has always had a lot of respect from me, but her performance in Gone Girl just blew me away and I hope she is nominated come awards season. This is one performance and character that will be remembered for a very long time, and her story will not leave your minds. A true career defining moment from Pike.

As for the rest of the cast, Neil Patrick Harris is creepy as hell as Amy’s ex boyfriend, and it was great to see him in a role that separated him from his more famous choices. Tyler Perry also makes an appearance as a high profile lawyer, who helps Nick through his hard time, bringing much needed intelligence and charisma to the dark story. Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit lead the case, demonstrating how events can turn so quickly, especially when unexpected things start to arise. There presence in the story was very engaging, as they lead us to each clue which changed the course of everyone’s next move. All together the cast really delivered and made you feel the complex nature of Gillian’s work.

Image: 20th Century Fox

I think David Fincher can walk away from Gone Girl and smile. As for the rest of you, I don’t think there will be any smiling once you leave your seats, as this is not a light film. I had chills down my spine in scenes and complete shock in others. A true psychological thriller, that is absolutely relevant to our time. This is “Fincher’ at his best,  giving us a well  thought out story, that carried all the elements to make it a perfect film.

MM 10 /10

Gone Girl is now playing at Palace Centro and in cinemas nationwide.

Official Poster:

Image: 20th Century Fox

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