Gone Girl (2014)
David Fincher directs the movie adaptation to Gillian Flynn’s critically-acclaimed and best-selling novel. The mystery-thriller delves into the whereabouts of Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) after her husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), comes home on his 5th wedding anniversary to find broken furniture and his wife nowhere to be found. While the investigation to learn what happened to Amy begins as a peaceful vigil it quickly escalates to a social media bonanza when Nick’s side of the story begins to unravel.
The movie, like the book, is told through the perspective of the two main characters. Nick and Amy were once successful writers living a happy life in New York City. When the recession hits and both eventually lose their jobs they move to Missouri where Nick cares for his ailing mother who is fighting Stage IV breast cancer. It seems the newfound environment proves toxic to the couple’s fantasy marriage. Gone Girl is a film that explores the true essence of a person’s being. There are oftentimes facades couples “put on” when first together, which slowly but surely begin to fade whether with time or in times of great stress. As the viewer learns past details the evidence begins to mount that Nick may very well have something to do with his wife’s disappearance.
Pike’s performance of Amy Dunne is so encapsulating of the character that you believe she is the only actress who could have played the role. Ben Affleck is perfect as the naïve and cheating husband who teeters between meriting the viewer’s sympathy or conversely their ire. The acting throughout the film was very good. While I questioned the casting of Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris, I was pleasantly surprised by their performances.
I think Flynn did an excellent job in detailing and envisioning what a similar case would play out in our social-media, obsessed society. Ellen Abbott’s (Missi Pyle) persecution of Nick Dunne’s character is reminiscent to the way Nancy Grace focuses on certain media stories. The spectators needs for taking selfies with Nick or of his bar is a social statement to what we’ve become as a society.
Fincher is known for his attention to detail. He is someone who will shoot the same scene 50 times if he isn’t getting exactly the product he envisioned. His idiosyncrasy proves tremendous in adapting a novel that has so many plots twists. It’s the plot twists that kept me enraptured when devouring the novel. While Fincher for the most part does a great job he strikes out on a couple of minor areas.
The movie is a tad too long. I felt some scenes could have been more succinct. In addition, I thought the book did a better job in the timing of certain twists. I was a bit surprised the movie didn’t stay more in sync with the novel, especially since Flynn wrote the screenplay. Also the editing of the film at times dampened momentum. These reasons coupled with the simple pacing of the film make me have to state that the book was better than the movie.
Overall the movie was pretty darn good and I recommend you watch it in theaters. I think people who have read the novel and those who have not will enjoy the gripping movie.
Let me know what you think of the movie.
MPAA Rating: R (scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language)
Running Time: 149 minutes
My Grade: A-
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