Gone Girl (2014)
Directed by: David Fincher
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Distributor 20th Century Fox International (UK)
Gone Girl raced to the top of the box office in the opening weekend. Suited for adult and what would assumably be predominantly female audiences, Gone Girl edged over other releases that weekend. Gone Girl has become director David Finchers highest grossing film to date, surpassing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. (2008) Based on Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel of the same name, the film will not disappoint.
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) move back to Nick’s home to take care of his dying mother after both being made redundant in the economic crash in 2008. Bitter by her husbands choices, Amy infatuates a somewhat deluded vision of how her life with her husband should have been.
On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick arrives home to find Amy gone along with a trashed lounge. When the police become involved, suspicion builds around Nick. During an examination of the house, Detective Boney (Kim Dickens) uncovers a scene of blood and struggle across the kitchen floor that has been carefully cleaned up. Whilst doubting that Amy has really been murdered by her husband, if dead at all, Nick begins to appear more guilty. He soon becomes a nationally hated figure, scrutinised and probed by female and feminist TV presenters.
When Amy is revealed to be alive, and she begins to describe the story in her own words written in a diary, it is a surprise that this is not the films twist. Fincher keeps the audience on the edge of their seats from the beginning, but with Amy now in sight, the story only becomes tenser, darker and mesmerisingly unsettling. It is Rosamund Pike who brings her character to life. With a soft delicate voice, for a moment the audience is routing for Amy. Her performance and character take the film on an emotional journey that perpetually has the audience torn between the two characters. While Affleck’s performance is solid, entirely accurate and believable, Pike’s performance outshines his throughout in a memorable fashion.
Neil Patrick Harris steps away from his womanising role in TV hit How I Met Your Mother and takes a role in Gone Girl as Amy’s ex boyfriend, whom she accused of raping her. The star proves himself by delivering an unearthly performance of a somewhat creepy, rich man. It feels as if the film could have gone into darker places with this character, but it avoids straying the path of the story between Nick and Amy’s marriage.
With suitable cinematography that is colder in the right places, the colours and tints of the film advance the desired mood and finalise the film with subtle creative movements. Gone Girl‘s story may sound like one you have already seen on the screen before, but with Fincher behind it, it is not. Gone Girl is a truly dark story that doesn’t stray from the source material. The transgressive themes are addressed perfectly, and with a strong script the characters flourish into fully identifiable characters.