Review: Gone Girl
Book adaptations are becoming a fad within Hollywood, but usually successfully books do not translate as well on screen. Such is not the case for Gillian Floyd's Gone Girl but thankfully she was the screenwriter for the film and benefitted from having one of the best directors at the time in David Fincher. The story of Gone Girl fits perfectly with what Fincher excels at. The story is a bit off-putting, incredibly thought provoking while all the while being grounded in reality. Gone Girl deals with plenty of different themes, mostly that of marriage and the troubles that come with that through financial trouble and dishonesty. It also deals with how the media can turn someone into a monster and how the public believes whatever the media can say without any real incriminating evidence. The other theme would be that of how, as people, we have a tendency to put on a façade and present our best version of ourselves to the world whether it be in a dating capacity or even meeting new people. The only time that we are truly ourselves, is behind closed doors where no one else can see what you are doing and that is the very nature of what makes Gone Girl so disturbing.
The plot of Gone Girl follows Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his darling wife Amazing Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) and the fallout from when Nick comes home to find what seems like a struggle while Amy is missing. This sends Nick into a panic and he calls the police to try to figure out what happened. As Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) begins to investigate the disappearance of acclaimed writer Amy, known mostly as Amazing Amy, she begins to notice a few things strange about Nick but also Amy. On top of that, Amy had disappeared on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary where Amy had left seductive clues throughout places that Nick and Amy had been romantic. As the net begins to close, the media turns against Nick which leads the town and the world to lead a witch hunt against him.
The plot seems pretty straightforward but what actually happens is disturbing. However, the film benefits greatly from the script written by author Gillian Floyd and director David Fincher as they nail the tone. The performances given by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are also tremendous and perfectly cast. Ben Affleck embodies the role of Nick Dunne as he can be both endearing and charming while all in the same moment he can be easily hated. With that in mind, Affleck doesn't necessary give a performance as it is as if he is just playing himself in this extreme situation. Rosamund Pike gives the best performance of her young career and it makes her career much like Fincher helped create Rooney Mara's career with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Up until this film, Pike has mostly been the innocent girl next door type in previous movies but her turn as Amy Dunne was spell bounding. Every scene she is in had an incredible amount of intrigue. Fincher's ability to capture the story of the Dunne's perfectly demonstrates the struggles of a marriage but also how quickly peoples' ideas can be so quickly changed by the media.
Fincher also benefits from having a tremendous supporting cast headlined by Carrie Coon as Margo Dunne and Kim Dickens as Detective Rhonda Boney. Coon and Dickens are widely regarded as unknowns having rarely been in anything but they do a wonderful job in their respective roles. Carrie Coon's Margo Dunne frequently acts as how the viewers may feel about Nick and Amy while providing the moral compass for Nick. Fincher once again brings back Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to do the score and their score is phenomenal. The score is so subtle that you forget it is even there but so often it added so much more tension to each and every scene. Overall, Gone Girl is a tremendous thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way up until the end where your mind will be thrown for a loop as you continue to think about it as the credits roll.