Film Review: Gone Girl

From the mind of Novelist Gillian Flynn and directed for the screen by acclaimed Filmmaker David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club) Gone Girl doesn’t simply offer you one type of movie. Marketing certainly will tell you this is a simple “whodunit” mystery film and in my estimation, that is a very flawed expectation to put on audiences. Gone Girl is not only an exceptional film by an exceptional story teller, but it also strives as an in depth look into the psychology and dynamics of relationships.

On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) , has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

THE GOOD
Like I mentioned earlier, Gone Girl is much less about a missing person story than it is about the human condition. Expectations, self-importance and pride play a big role into understanding Gone Girl. The Film is hugely fueled by two characters who simply grow out of love for each other and grow into love with themselves. At heart Gone Girl is a marriage fable. But this isn’t the fantasy of an idealized romance. It’s the tale of the relationship as a prison. A jail that locks two people in a dungeon desiring to break free. The dialogue attempts to present both sides of their failed union. Simply put, Gone Girl is a he said/she said account and done very effectively. As the viewer, you’re not quite sure who to trust or which narration to invest your energy into. This makes for an extremely slippery, emotional ride.

Another great aspect is how the film draws parallels seamlessly with the modern day media and the main character’s trust issues. What initially appears to be important is made irrelevant. What seems insignificant is made crucial. The reality is always deeper than what is readily apparent. Gone Girl highlights this fact. And by doing so, not only entertains, but also educates us in how truth is merely a moldable concept of the modern media age or in Gone Girl’s case, the main character who is narrating at the moment.

A bit on the acting, Rosamund Pike is doing some really heavy lifting here. She is fantastic throughout the movie and really elevates this film to a new level. Ben Affleck is no slouch either, actually the whole cast is very, very strong. The acting all comes together very natural and like a completed puzzle, all fit into their roles accordingly.

The music also is thoughtfully textured and tailored just right to instill appropriates moods. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross deserve much praise for making the score fit seamlessly into such an emotional movie. The music in Gone Girl really complements the visual themes well and does just what a great score should do by aiding the film in mood and energy.

THE BAD
Unfortunately Gone Girl suffers from what much of Hollywood mainstream media suffers from nowadays, unnecessary vulgarity. I personally didn’t appreciate how vulgar and graphics some scenes were. It’s an unfortunate thing considering “Gone Girl” didn’t need this level of explicitly to elevate it anymore than it would have been lacking it. The film is rated R but sometimes feels like it exceeds it rating in content.

THE VERDICT
Gone Girl is not an easy movie to sit through, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great movie. The best definition I can give it is a slippery slide of a suspense thriller that will tug your sympathies, while springing twists and traps with stomach-lurching suddenness.

Gone Girl’s echoing dialogue between main characters states “What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other?” By the end of the movie, the characters were no longer uttering this to each other, but the movie was asking this to me, in which I still cant form a definitive answer.

Gone Girl is a moody, meticulously crafted thriller that will shock and engage you from it’s opening moment to its final powerful shot.

9/10

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