Lets talk about Gone Girl. The film, based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name, was released in cinemas a couple of weeks ago. I saw it last week but have been lazy and slack and thus, am only getting around to this review now.
I read the book a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it. The plot was in equal parts intriguing, suspenseful and consuming and the characters were exceptionally well written, complex and completely believable. In a number of interviews, Gillian Flynn said that she wanted to explore the ‘psychology and dynamics of a long-term relationship’ and that was certainly a major theme throughout the book. I was particularly impressed with her ability to write convincingly from a male point of view. Nick Dunne was very real and didn’t have any of the girlyness that a lot of female-written male characters seem to have in spades. I read the whole book in a few hours so when the film release date was announced, I was keen to see how it would play out on film. I wasn’t disappointed.
Directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) and adapted for the screen by Gillian Flynn herself, the story follows Nick Dunne who, on the day of his fifth wedding anniversary discovers that his wife, Amy, is missing and soon becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. Told from the perspective of Nick in the present, and Amy’s diary entries, the film remained faithful to the book and lived up to my expectations of excellence. It tackled themes of marriage, obsession, and how far one is willing to go in the pursuit of revenge.
I’ll be honest, I’m not Ben Affleck’s biggest fan. From a purely aesthetic (and entirely shallow) point of view, there’s just something about his face that I don’t like. However, he won me over with his portrayal of Nick. I found myself really feeling for the character, perhaps even more so than I did in the book. Everything from Nick’s awkwardly involuntary desperation for social acceptance to his quietly burning rage was acted to perfection. And as for Rosamund Pike, who plays the aforementioned Amy, her performance was chillingly good. Beautiful and delicate, and yet at the same time the very epitome of ice queen, I’m positive that no one else could have played the role as accurately and/or awesomely. Excellent performances from supporting actors, Neil Patrick Harris (Desi Collings), Tyler Perry (Tanner Bolt) and Carrie Coon (Margo Dunne) rounded out a superb cast.
Typical of Fincher, the film was dark and quietly sinister, but there was some well placed comic relief (watch out for the ‘world class vagina’ comment) and, my bias aside, he has once again proved to the world why he is one of the greatest directors in Hollywood. One thing I would have liked to see was Amy’s full ‘Cool Girl’ monologue. The film really played on the notion of people pretending to be someone they’re not, and I felt that the monologue would have really driven that concept home. Other than that, and the fact that I would have liked to see a bit more of Nick’s relationship with Andie, I really can’t find fault with the film at all. I loved it, and give it a 4.8 our of 5. Do yourself a favour and go see it.