Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Emily Ratajkowski, Tyler Perry
To be completely honest, I hadn’t read the novel until a few weeks before the film adaptation was released. But then I heard rave reviews from critics and decided I wanted to judge the film fairly myself and buckled down and devoured the book in just a few short days.
And I can’t believe I’m going to say this but … the film was better. It rectified the only flaws I could find in the book version: it sped up parts that dragged on and on and really gave the characters a lot more depth. Because the novel is split between past and present, jumping between the time periods can be a little exhausting and a point sometimes takes a while to be made because of the suspenseful literary techniques that needed to be shared. The adaptation fixed that and condensed what was about 50 pages into five minutes.
Based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling 2012 novel, Gone Girl, David Fincher’s interpretation is dark, shocking and intense. Gone Girl is the story about the disappearance of Amy Elliott-Dunne (Pike), the girl gone. Gone, it is depicted, from a formerly happy marriage with Nick Dunne (Affleck). Gone from her comfortable New York lifestyle. And gone without a trace … except those that all lead to Nick.
It’s interesting to see how modern media has a strong influence on police cases and how spin can have such a way of portraying one’s innocence or guilt. Of course the story is also set in 2008 America, a time of recession. Panicking, jumping to conclusions and finding distractions are among some of the things common during that time. Mob mentalities are common and public opinion is everything, especially when it comes to an investigation.
Ben Affleck is surprising in his role and plays the role of self-absorbed and short-tempered small-town boy to a tee. But it’s Rosamund Pike, the leading lady, that commands the screen. She’s previously been in many of my favourite films such as An Education and Pride and Prejudice, but in a smaller role. In Gone Girl she brings an icy exterior to Amy that’s both lovely and frightening.
There’s twists and turns at every corner and as much as it likes to believe that it’s a ‘date movie’, it’s not. You’re more likely to scream from shock than pleasure with this one.