Possibly the most anticipated film adaptation of a novel has finally arrived. Gone Girl is a thrilling who-done-it story which captivated readers worldwide, propelling it to be one of the bestselling books in recent times. So does the movie version do the book any justice?
Gone Girl begins in Missouri, where Nick (Ben Affleck) is discussing his wedding anniversary with his bartender twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon). Nick returns home to find scenes of struggle and his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing. As detectives arrive and start investigating the disappearance, suspicions immediately turn towards the unflustered Nick. As the investigation begins along with the media circus, so do the flashbacks which are narrated by Amy’s journal, she recalls their fairy tale beginning and their gradual breakdown.
I’ll put a disclaimer here to say that I won’t include any spoilers in this review. Don’t worry if you haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s psychological thriller yet, prior knowledge of how the story plays out reduces the shock of each twists. With that being said, those that have read the book won’t be dissatisfied either.
Gone Girl wastes no time pulling the audience into what Fincher/Flynn wants people to experience. The movie starts off with an eerie close up scene as Nick is seen caressing Amy’s hair while wondering what is going on inside her head. That dark tone sets the ambience for the rest of the film.
David Fincher’s well recognised sinister persuasiveness, gloomy slow burn scenes, and creepy score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross compliment the story well. Settings like that keep the audience on the edge of their seat thinking another horrible twist is just around the corner.
The narration of he said – she said (wrote), going from present to past while the story is unravelling, is extremely well executed by Fincher. The whole plot becomes wickedly deceptive with the desire to manipulate your emotions with each turn and flashback. Needless to say – it works!
Ben Affleck gives one of his best performances in his career as the less than great and curiously composed husband. We haven’t seen a female character like Amy portrayed in movies for a long time, thankfully Rosamund Pike brought the character alive in a way that can be described as truly memorable and perhaps even award winning. This becomes even more evident in an epic scene involving a bedroom. You’ll know it when you see it.
Gone Girl is all about bombshells and twists, but what I found to be surprising is just how funny it is. There is a lot of dark humour incorporated into the story line which won’t be lost on the audience.
There are moments in the beginning where it’s hard to hear the dialog between Amy and Nick due to the loud background music. Fortunately, that issue is rectified quickly. Where the film really suffers is in the last 15 minutes. The ending is the same as the book which disappointed majority of fans, having seen the movie – it’s understandable why. Gone Girl is an intelligent intense story yet concludes in such perplexing and ridiculous manner that it’s bound to make most viewers irritated. Also, there happens to be substantial plot holes in the last few minutes, which are hard to ignore. Sadly all of this lets down an otherwise brilliant film. It seems to be a trend with a lot of movies lately.
Even with all of its imperfections towards the end, it is still a fantastic film worthwhile seeing. I give it 8 stars out of 10.
Gone Girl is out in cinemas from today.