Gone Girl (2014)


Gone Girl (2014)One of the rare times that I’ve seen a film at the cinema without seeing the trailer before, somehow avoiding all of that promotional material to go in almost blind to David Fincher‘s latest thriller Gone Girl (2014) which did not disappoint on any level really. I had obviously seen a few images and knew the basic plot, that was all I had to go on and the calibre of the director, I was sold really.

What begins as an average missing person story when husband Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) comes home on his fifth wedding anniversary to find that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has disappeared, leaving a smashed table to greet him. Not much out of the ordinary, she could easily have been kidnapped on the surface of it all, being held hostage in someones hold-up. We follow Nick over the course of the first few days from 5th July 2012 as the investigation gets underway, clues start to emerge, not just from the treasure hunt that is laid on. Nothing sits right, Nick doesn’t appear to be as worried as he should be unlike Amy’s parents Rand and Marybeth Elliot (David Clennon and Lisa Banes) who put far more effort into finding their daughter. He seems to just hold on, when we discover more about both him and Amy through retrospective diary entries that lead us to believe the romance was slowly dying away to reveal something far darker than we would hope to find. 

Taking the mind games of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) to a whole new level. Only a couple who know each other well enough could do so much harm to each other as the Dunne’s over the course of the film, both during and retrospectively. The audiences heads are completely screwed around with. At one time leading us to believe that Nick could, could be the killer of his wife, it’s all there, yet he’s neglected her so much you wouldn’t kill her.

I won’t reveal any spoilers for this classic of a Fincher who leads us in one direction with this couple who are both terrible people in different ways. Giving us a whole act of the film of the finale, life after Amy goes missing, life goes on for Nick after being having his life made public, mocked, ridiculed by the media, the latest sensation of Missouri and later the whole country who are waiting for the next development. It becomes palpable, as if we are living in these moments as they happen to him. Over the passing days that become weeks, it’s a modern kidnapping in the eyes of the media, with all the delicious details that make it so sensational, anything could happen.

I’m reminded of the dark twists in Se7en (1995) when we finally meet our reprehensible killer John Doe (Kevin Spacey) with his own flawed logic is revealed, things become far darker than you can ever imagine has already passed over the course of the film. The truth becomes too hard to swallow for the characters and the audience who are processing what’s now going on. Accompanied by a chilling score which takes you right into the messed up marriage which comes undone in the media world that eats it up whole.

It’s America’s modern kidnapping with all the sensational details included, nothing left out. A cast that all deliver, playing up to what we expect from one of these news stories, expanded for feature-length telling. I do wish there was more closure concerning the parents who are written out of the film in the last act that explains everything to us, left unaware of what really happened. Even the suspicious detectives get a look in, professionally suspicious, especially Officer Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) whose a name to look out for, allow the audience in, questioning what is going on for us. This is sure to be one of the best films of 2014 if not for myself, it did more than entertain, it go under my skin like the directors previous work (not sure about The Social Network (2010) leaving me unnerved about who I should trust in relationships.

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2 responses

  1. Good review Tim. Definitely not Fincher’s best, but still a great piece that gave me such a joy to be happy, without ever having to feel guilty. Like I mostly do with summer blockbusters.

    October 13, 2014 at 3:41 am

    • He’s back on form though you must admit.

      October 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

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