Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
OH. MA. GA. If you haven’t read Gone Girl yet, then you are missing out on life. But on the other hand, I am totes jealous because it means you can freshly experience all of the film’s jaw-dropping twists and turns. I made my boyfriend – who hadn’t read the book – come with me so I could experience the film vicariously through him as a newbie. But even though I knew what aces the film had up its sleeve, I was still transfixed and hungry for more.
In Gone Girl, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) arrives home on his wedding anniversary to find his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing in suspicious circumstances. The media frenzy builds rapidly, and the finger is pointed at Nick as the main suspect. Through flashbacks we hear excerpts from Amy’s diary, which details the steady decline of their marriage. Was Nick involved in her disappearance?
Gone Girl stays very true to the novel, which is not surprising considered it was adapted for the screen by author, Gillian Flynn. I awaited certain scenes with bated breath and I was not disappointed. Some may have a problem with the plausibility of the final scenes, but once you can accept the odd direction the narrative takes, it only makes the film better.
Things get EFFED UP to put it mildly, and you should be prepared for a few extremely disturbing scenes. Gone Girl is not for the faint of heart. If you can’t handle blood, you’re screwed. There’s also another implied moment which is just sick. BE PREPARED. Some crazy shit goes down. After seeing this, I woke up in the middle of the night with Amy on my mind, and walking to the bathroom I felt scared. Almost as scared as when there’s a spider in there.
David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (superior US version), The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Zodiac, Panic Room, Fight Club) is fast becoming one of my favourite directors. The way he builds tension (though obvious credit to Flynn in this respect too) is brilliant. Visually, his films are always so slick and elegant. From the whisky glasses sitting on the bar to the way Amy’s hair falls across her face – it’s all hauntingly beautiful. Credit also goes to cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth who worked on TGWTDT and The Social Network. Co-composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who composed the two aforementioned films (winning an Oscar for The Social Network), team up again here to create a brilliant score. I don’t even know how to properly describe their eerily, techno-ish, weird style. Early predictions suggest they will soon add another Oscar to the mantle.
I knew the cast for the film before I read the book, so I read it with Affleck, Pike, et al. in mind. Some were disappointed with this casting (what’s with all the Affleck hate?) but it was all I ever knew so I wasn’t bothered by this. As far as I can tell, Affleck works brilliantly in the role of Nick, though I’m disappointed to hear that his peen is visible in the film and I missed it! God dammit, there I was just focusing on the plot development. Rosamund Pike is incredible as Amy, but due to her low speaking voice I found some of her early dialogue mildly difficult to understand. Some have expressed disappointment that Reese Witherspoon – one of the producers on the film – wasn’t cast as Amy, but I personally felt that Pike was a much better fit. In a supporting role, Neil Patrick Harris was perfect as Desi – GOD THAT MAN IS AMAZING. I WANT HIS BABIES! (The ones he already adopted – have you seen them? They’re adorable!) Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, and Kim Dickens all put in solid supporting performances also. The only let-down was Emily Ratajkowski as Andie, most famous for waving around like a big-boobed leaf in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines music video. I’m not quite sure what a big-boobed leaf is, but I am pretty sure she was only cast here for her boobs. She also looked way younger than she was supposed to be, but I think that was deliberate.
I was shocked when I looked at the time after coming out of the film, as it was way longer than it felt, clocking in at 2.5 hours. If that’s not a sign of a terrific film then I don’t know what is. Gone Girl is an exhilarating experience both as a novel and as a film, and there are pros and cons to reading the book prior to viewing. Either way, it is stellar. Be prepared for something nasty, but in the most delicious way.