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Gone Girl Review

Ben Affleck and Rosemary Pike star in David Fincher’s mystery thriller Gone Girl, a film cleverly written and very rare to find these days. Having not guessed the movies ending within the first half hour I was impressed.

Lisa Leid

Based on the best selling novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, the film starts by introducing us to two struggling but beautiful writers, Nick (Affleck) and Amy (Pike).

They meet at a party and through shallow conversation realise that they are both exactly the type of ‘cool’ person both imagines themselves to be with.

After maintaining their cool relationship, and subsequently superficial marriage, it all begins to fall apart. Fincher creates an all too realistic image of relationships based on high maintenance personalities, too much effort to maintain for a lifetime, something that audiences can relate to and recognise.

The film, narrated partly by Amy through her journal and using flashbacks, shows us Nick contemplating divorce on the day of his fifth wedding anniversary in a bar that he owns with his sister Margo. On his arrival home he discovers that Amy is nowhere to be found.

Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) leads the case, as Nick continues to maintain his innocence, with the help of celebrity lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) and his sister Margo (Carrie Coon), only to become the prime suspect.

Using his fifth wedding anniversary treasure hunt created for him by Amy before her disappearance, he attempts to stay one step ahead of the police as he retraces Amy’s last moves to avoid jail and the possibility of the death penalty in Missouri.

The film focuses on Nick’s search for his wife and the media frenzy surrounding Amy’s disappearance. Fore-fronted by self-absorbed television host Ellen Abbott (Missi Pyle) who leads the media witch-hunt against Nick, contributing to the mystery of who the real antagonist is.

With believable performances by Ben Affleck as the emotionally distant, stoic husband and Rosemary Pike as his try hard, type A wife, Gone Girl is an extremely thrilling movie with numerous plot twists and a brilliant supporting cast highlighting how each character is crucial to the plot.

David Fincher known for his award winning films, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Social Network shows his meticulous directing skills, as every detail; down to lighting and choice of music all contributes to the atmosphere of the film.

With it’s slow start; playing off cliché stereotypes, dominant in American blockbuster films to perpetuate the ‘perfect’ relationship, Fincher gave audiences enough time for audiences to figure out whether they liked Amy and Nick as a couple before you saw the realities of their marriage.

He gives viewers (who have never read the book) enough time to believe that this could be a love story only for it to switch to a murder mystery thriller in seconds.

The remainder of the film continues quickly, Gone Girl was constantly going, only to slow down to give audiences a false sense of security until the next twist.

The unreliable narration and non-linear storyline creates an intense atmosphere, as it keeps the audience constantly guessing. With constant revelations due to misleading information from unreliable characters and media propaganda, you wont be sure of what’s actually going on till the very end.

Having not read the book first (I will now) it gave me a different perspective and I definitely preferred not knowing what the ending was going to be as it kept me interested until the end.

The hype around Gone Girl is rightly deserved.

The 145-minute movie is worth sitting through, sure by the two-hour mark you already feel that it could’ve ended but it doesn’t change the fact that Gone Girl makes for anxious but exciting watch.

 

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About Lisa Leid

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