Gone Girl is a 2014 mystery thriller based on a 2012 novel of the same name, written by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay. The film is directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and stars Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and Carrie Coon.
On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behaviour have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?
Not having read the book, I cannot judge how well this movie has been adapted to the screen, but, having seen it and knowing that the author herself wrote the screenplay, I found it to be one hell of a film.
Gone Girl is a dark, abstract, psychological thriller. It deals with issues like how we perceive the people we love, and how much we understand them, media frenzy, the economy and its effect on marriages. It’s a film exploring the dysfunctionality of the modern world. It’s a well-paced film that maintains its quite suspense as you journey through the investigation of Amy’s disappearance, and the flashbacks of Nick and Amy’s relationship.
The sharp dialogues and the affected, highbrow exchanges keep you focused, and yet, for me, also managed to keep the characters at a distance, so you never invest in one emotionally. However, it’s this affected distance that makes the twists and reveals that much more powerful. The beauty of the story lies in the fact that, despite having predicted some plot advancements and turns, the way they happen still manages to surprise you.
The actors do a wonderful job with a unique pair of unlikable main characters. Ben Affleck successfully portrays the ambiguous husband. You don’t know whether to sympathise with him or be suspicious of him; as in the movie, he swings from being hated, to not, repeatedly. Rosamund Pike gives a strong, powerful performance which packs a punch. Her apathetic expressions contrast with the emotive, candid narration and, generate intrigue and anticipation. She stole the show.
The film is strong, well constructed and the direction detailed. And despite the sinister mood it manages to be quite funny. The weakest part was the ending which could’ve been shorter and seemed wanting. Like the rest of the movie it was too, a surprise, however, it was somewhat unsatisfying.
Gone Girl is a twisted tale of a haunting character. A story that will linger with you. It’s best suited for those who enjoy dark thrillers.
Even though I wanted to read the book before the film came, I couldn’t manage it. But after watching this movie, I’m definitely going to read it and update this review with that of the book (I hope).