Gone Girl: Movie Review

gone-girl-filmI’ve actually been holding out watching the Gone Girl movie until after I’ve finished the book but because my almost all of my friends have already seen it and I didn’t want to spoil myself from listening to their discussions, I decided to give in and watch the film on video. After seeing it, might I just say that I am wrung out like a dishrag — emotionally and intellectually drained from experiencing this film but I am completely blown away by the brilliance of the plot.

On their fifth wedding anniversary, former New York journalist and current bar owner Nick Dunn (Ben Affleck) finds his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing with telltale signs of intrusion in their house. He immediately calls the police to investigate the “suspicious circumstances.” Unfortunately for Nick, he becomes the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance and his actions serve only to incriminate him further with each day that Amy is not found. With Amy’s disappearance becoming fodder for the national media, Nick finds each aspect of his life scrutinized, and his imperfect marriage placed under a microscope.

I’ve already said that this film is brilliant and I’ll say it again. It is. BRILLIANT. This movie adapted from a Gillian Flynn crime thriller was the perfect basis for a film of this magnitude. First, it unravels like layers of an onion, there’s Amy’s perspective, delivered from her journal entries. And then there’s Nick’s side, which is depicted in increments of days from when Amy started to go missing.

The best part about the approach is that the film initially charms the audience into caring for the couple, in a sense get to know them and care about them. In so doing, it manages to get audiences to worry about Amy, and about Nick as he makes one wrong move after another. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike couldn’t have played their parts any better and they embodied their characters to a T.

Without having to give too much away, the uniqueness of this film lies in its ability to engage the audience emotionally — each scene seems to be dangling a clue right in front of the noses of the viewers which compels them to feel the frustration of the characters. The movie also engages them emotionally because the characters are so flawed and relatable that people will be compelled to root for them to get through whatever their issues are at certain points of the film. The film was intelligently written. The first half of the movie alone would have been the end of any other movie but Gone Girl went the extra mile and proceeded to shock audiences even further by the extent of what bitterness, deceit and even love can push a person to do. In a way, the film employed the same strategy as Amy in its presentation and it worked out just as well with every aspect of the execution. It just succeeds in pulling out the rug beneath the audience’s feet every single time.

All in all, director David Fincher truly did the book justice and for her part, author Gillian Flynn did even better adopting her work to a screenplay. Its an exploration of every single marriage cliche, but twisted into a dark and sinister take on control, trust and fear and what these can do to a relationship. This is a film that needs to be seen to be appreciated and it calls for a great big kudos to everyone involved. I just can’t say enough good words. I am overwhelmed.