Director: David Fincher
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Kim Dickens, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry
Running Time: 148 minutes
Release Date: October 2nd
Nick Dunne (Affleck) is the most happily married man in the world; his wife, Amy (Pike) is beautiful, intelligent and cool, it seems there is nothing that can tear them apart. That is until Amy disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary and the truth about their relationship, and each other’s perceptions, is pushed into the public domain. In the beginning there is only one suspect and Nick Dunne does not like being the centre of attention as the search for Amy’s abductor/murderer focuses laser-like on him. As the walls start to close in and people from Amy’s past begin to surface, Nick is left pleading his innocence in the face of overwhelming public pressure. Only time will tell if he truly has nothing to do with Amy’s disappearance.
Based on a novel by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl was a huge seller. Viewers need not have read the book before they go in, but it certainly helps when the story takes a turn for crazy-town around 70 minutes in. To be honest, it may all be a little too much for some, but you have a clear choice when it kicks off, you can jump on board and enjoy it or grumble at just how bonkers it manages to get. It’s in this area that Fincher manages to score the winner as he makes the most absurd and trashy piece of daytime TV an eminently enjoyable and entertaining two and half hour mystery thriller.
As mentioned above, there is a daytime TV feel to the plot, but that’s where the similarities end as Fincher delivers a very slick and almost enthralling finished piece. The script is surprisingly witty, there where times when this drew mass laughter from the audience, although it is hard to tell if this is necessarily the response Fincher was actually trying to achieve.
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike who ably deliver their respective, morally questionable, characters aid Fincher in making it all work. A lot of people like to beat up on Affleck, mostly because he decided he would play Batman, but he has been delivering for the last few years and he is entertaining in the role. Pike’s role will demand a little more buy in from the audience than Affleck’s, but she is enjoyable as ‘Amazing Amy’ and seems to make it work, even though the character really shouldn’t allow that to happen.
Visually it is typically Fincher with a smooth feel and he manages to capture each setting; a dreary Missouri town, a beautifully alive New York, and the Dunne family home–which is like an operating theatre–perfectly. People should not get over excited about Trent Reznor’s soundtrack as it fails to fully engage and in some early scenes annoyingly dominates the dialogue. it’s not garbage, it just could be better. High standards demand quality delivery.
Gone Girl is a truly graceless story that would be dismissed as rubbish if it were a TV movie, but it’s not. It’s Fincher, Affleck and Pike making the absolute best of questionable material with some very enjoyable script work and directing. Will everyone come out of Gone Girl happy? Probably not, but then the climax of the book managed to alienate as many people as it did gain fans so if you want to enjoy it for what it is, jump on board. It’s one hell of a ride.