Movie review – Gone Girl

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by Jye McMahon

Based on the critically-acclaimed bestselling novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, here we have a thrilling, engaging picture that will keep you constantly doubting yourself just when you think you’ve sussed it out.

On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) comes home to find the front door open, the glass coffee table in the living room destroyed, and his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), nowhere to be found. Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) are the first people to respond, and they immediately get the sense that Nick isn’t telling them everything – for example; if the living room was the scene of a struggle, then why aren’t any of the photos on the mantel turned over? That’s just one of several unanswered questions that begin popping up as Nick is scrutinized, first by the police, and then by the media, as Amy’s disappearance quickly becomes headline news.

 

Split into a solid three acts, each one will have you confused (in a good way) more than the last, with you either rooting for Team Nick or Team Amy depending on who you think is in the right or the wrong.

Some powerful narrative is provided by Pike, which only aids in the deep story and gives insight into the characters inner thoughts. At two and a half hours long, it’s a lengthy sitter, but being such an engrossing film you will hardly notice, it simply flies by.

Each member of the cast are fantastic in their roles, especially praising Pike who – really stealing the show – convincingly shows us her idea of the ‘crazy wife’. Brilliant, none the less, Affleck does well, but I couldn’t help but think any other decent actor out there could have given an equally as good, if not better, performance.

Neil Patrick Harris, of How I Met Your Mother fame, also gives a surprisingly good side performance as the ill-fated, creepy stalking ex-boyfriend, Desi.

 

Visually stunning as one would expect from Fincher, with an immersive soundtrack by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and an editing rhythm that cuts like a knife through the tissue of the story and its characters. The author adapted her book into a tightly wound screenplay, that adds fuel to an already burning analysis of modern marriage and human frailty.

This has to be up there as one of the best films of the year. No fantasy, no science fiction, this is something that could happen, which makes it all the more compelling. David Fincher – director of Oscar winners: The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and nominee Fight Club – adds another picture to his impressive portfolio and with it a sure Best Picture nominee.

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