Gone Girl – DVD Review 5/5 stars
Gone Girl is the latest film to get my five star approval. Fantastic acting and casting as David Fincher directs Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in this excellent story based on Gillian Flynn’s novel. Flynn also wrote the screenplay which I think was a wise move as the book certainly has a large fan base. Truth be told, I hadn’t even heard of it, but a co-worker had been going on about the novel for some time and was quite excited about the movie since it was was announced.
On the day of his fifth anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) gets a call at work from his neighbour that his cat is outside and his front door is open. Rushing home to find out why his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has left the door open, he discovers a broken table, an overturned ottoman but no wife. Beginning to fear the worst, he calls the police who immediately treat the house as a crime scene. Amy has gone missing. As the investigation unfolds, we learn of Nick’s infidelity (with a young student Emily Ratajkowski), financial problems, and general apathy with Amy in general and their marriage in particular. All the while, Nick is smugly smiling his way through press conferences and interviews as the clues that Amy has left for their annual anniversary treasure hunt, begin to reveal the darker side to their relationship. When the police find Amy’s semi burnt diary with the final entry saying she’s afraid of her husband and would feel better if she had a gun, Nick looks more and more guilty of murdering his wife.
The film (and book) are filled with excellent characters, such as the Elliotts, Amy’s parents (David Clennon and Lisa Banes) who come from New York to help with the search. The couple are a pair of psychologists who rose to moderate fame and fortune by writing a series of children’s books called “Amazing Amy” which were based on their idealized thoughts of their own child’s life. When Amy got cut by the volleyball team, Amazing Amy made the varsity team. When Amy gave up the cello, Amazing Amy became a prodigy. There’s Desi Collings, an ex-boyfriend turned stalker of Amy’s (Neil Patrick Harris) who may have had something to do with her disappearance, and Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), the high priced lawyer who has made his claim by successfully defending “wife murderers” in the past. I particularly enjoyed Carrie Coon as Nick’s twin sister Margo (or Go for short).
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
In anticipation of the film, I borrowed the book and quickly finished it. My friend at work had been really talking the book up, and saying that there was a twist in the middle that just about floored him. Well, there was a twist, but it was one that I could see coming a mile away as I was reading up to it. I suppose I’ve read and watched a few too many mysteries because the reveal that Amy had disappeared on her own was not overly surprising to me. I will say though that there was a twist at the end that I did not see coming which made the already enjoyable story that much better for me.
In the second act, we find out that Amy is a brilliant and methodical planner who has been aware of her husband’s lies and has set him up to take the fall for her murder. Writing a false five year diary and painting herself as the loving, neglected, and eventually abused wife; leaving a paper trail of credit card debt and insurance premiums that point ever closer to Nick Dunne being a killer; Amy it appears is not a woman to scorn. When her plans go awry, she always has a Plan B, C and D it seems. Manipulating the investigation with the clues she’s left, Amy Elliott Dunne is not at all like the Amy in her diary. Rosamund Pike delivered an excellent performance showcasing the duality of the role and has now been Oscar nominated for Best Actress. I am a little surprised that Ben Affleck didn’t get an acting nomination as he did a fantastic job too. As I was watching the film, I completely forgot he was Ben Affleck, he was just Nick Dunne, which I think shows how good a job he did.
If you’re in the mood for a mild suspense thriller with excellent acting, and a top notch story, you won’t be disappointed with Gone Girl. Fincher’s film was nearly two and a half hours, and I did know what was going to happen each step of the way, having read the book, but it didn’t feel like it dragged at all.
Bottom Line: Gone Girl, is not just a mystery thriller, it is really a satire on marriage. Nick and Amy both fell in love with false versions of who each other was. They both really deserve each other in the end, because they’ve committed themselves to living as their fantasy selves.
Posted on 15-01-16, in 5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Ben Affleck, Carrie Coon, David Fincher, Emily Ratajkowski, Gillian Flynn, Neil Patrick Harris, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.