Gone Girl Review

9.5 Overall Score
Performances : 9/10
Writing : 10/10
Direction : 9/10

Incredible Story, Great Performances, Excellent Direction

Very Easy to Spoil

“I can’t see me loving nobody but you for all my life.”

 

Those are the wise words performed by 60’s rock band “The Turtles” in their classic pop hit “Happy Together”. This specific lyric speaks to a certain ideology, an optimistic outlook on relationships, love, sex, marriage, retirement, and all that other stuff that evokes a fuzzy feeling that oozes with thoughts of unicorns, rainbows, and multi-colored hearts.

 

We all want to buy into the perfectly romantic idea of love that exists in songs such as “Happy Together”, but you know, reality is reality. Every relationship has its own various quirks and mannerisms, which in turn causes unique problems and situations. We’ve all been through these relationships before, and we can relate to some extent. Then there’s the relationship at the center of David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which will make you question not only everything you know about relationships, but also what you know about people in general. Gone Girl is an atmospheric, fascinating, riveting, intense, darkly comedic thriller that will leave you thinking about its gripping story and stunning technical proficiency long after you’ve uncovered the mystery at hand.

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The aforementioned mystery is a story adapted from the 2009 bestseller by Gillian Flynn, and Flynn pens the translation to screen as well. Ben Affleck stars as Nick Dunne, a middle-class average Joe who returns home one morning to find his wife, Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), nowhere to be found. There’s little indication to where Amy could possibly be, but there are clues around the house that implies a struggle. That insinuation, coupled with some interesting tidbits about the couples past, leads the police to suspect that nick may have something to do with the disappearance. His sleazy personality doesn’t help matters, but why would he harm his wife? But, then again, why wouldn’t he?

 

To reveal anything further would be blasphemous. Flynn’s novel apparently appeals to the twisted readability of an airport mystery, and she continues to spellbind in the move to screen. I urge each and every one of you who has even the slightest interest in seeing gone girl to avoid any kind of written piece about the film, because the experience is just that much more rich if you go in completely unsullied to spoilers. I was hooked on Gone Girl’s story like an hyperactive child addicted on candy, in that I eagerly awaited each plot twist in giddy succession. Fincher’s direction is brilliantly subtle in how he plays on the audience’s investment, meticulously peeling back the layers with expert pacing. Each new piece of the puzzle is superior, juicier than the next; it truly is mystery storytelling at its best.

 

Fincher has a tendency to get the best out of his actors, and the performances in gone girl are no exception. Affleck is as good as he’s ever been here; he delivers a layered turn that treads the line between moral ambiguity and actual sympathy. We never feel inclined to like Nick, but Affleck’s natural presence makes it very hard to hate him. As good as Affleck is, however, it’s Pike that steals the show. She is absolutely mesmerizing as the titular “Gone Girl”, and her performance is going to carry weight well into awards season. The two leads are backed by a strong ensemble, which includes Neil Patrick Harris, Scoot McNairy, Carrie coon, Kim Dickens, and a surprisingly strong Tyler Perry.

 

Fincher’s direction is atmospheric, his cinematography appropriately muted and moody, like a calmingly dangerous sedative to lure the audience into his trap. He’s supported by a wonderfully creepy score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross; in their third collaboration with Fincher, they continually seem to match the extremely high bar they’ve set.

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Lest I mince my words, Gone Girl is an extraordinary achievement. It’s the type of thriller that we’re lucky to experience every five to ten years, a film that’s constantly surprising and always intense. I haven’t even touched on some of the thematic victories that Fincher is able to slip into the film, such as its brilliant subtextual commentary on how to media portrays individuals, or the statement it makes about love and companionship, or even the statement it makes about the justice system today. For those of you who don’t care about the technical stuff, here’s the bottom line: Gone Girl is extremely entertaining. It’s the type of film you discuss for long periods of time at the water cooler, or the Starbucks, or the Britta, or whatever because you can’t get it out of your head. Gone Girl truly is a special experience, one that you can’t afford missing.  

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Author: Andrew Auger View all posts by
Andrew Auger is a student at Marist College and is majoring in Journalism. He is a huge fan of movies, and considers the late film critic Roger Ebert his idol. He hopes to one day be a prestigious film critic just like Mr. Ebert.

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