(There are some spoilers.)
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck)’s beautiful wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing under suspicious circumstances. Police detective Boney (Kim Dickens) and officer Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) get right on the case, with Boney giving Nick the benefit of the doubt and Gilpin ready to blame Dunne.
As the audience we’re neither with Boney nor Gilpin: if he did it, it’s too obvious. If he’s innocent, also too obvious. But we know it’s a David Fincher movie, and it will probably not be black and white. And expectedly, things turn out to be all shades of grey:
While Nick tries to manage his in-laws and the media reaction with the help of his twin sister Go, we see he’s not exactly the doting husband he wants others to believe. He seems clueless about his wife’s daily activities, friends or diary, and to top of it all, he’s having an affair with a 20-year-old (and going to great lengths to hide it from others).
From the beginning of the movie, we have some flashbacks, with the voice-over from Amy, guiding us through their relationship, from the great start to troubling times, until we see Nick’s violent and dangerous side. And around the time cops are sure Nick’s behind her disappearance, and possibly murder, we hear this brilliant line from Amy:
“I’m so much happier now that I’m dead.”
So yes, she’s making a run for it to make Nick pay for being a lying, cheating bastard. And if you think she is taking things too far, just wait till you see how much further she’s willing to go, and how she handles her back-up plans…
Gone Girl is one crazy, psychotic mystery/thriller/drama that might make you question certain things in life, like how well you actually know the people you are with, how dangerous certain kinds of people can be and well, whether or not getting married is a sane idea in the first place.
Despite the original elements in its story, and some seriously fantastic acting from Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl is far from a smooth, fast ride. I’m aware that this was intentional, but the unevenness in pacing created moments, at least for me, where I struggled to stay engaged in the movie. It flows faster and better once we find out what Amy is up to, and how truly disturbed and calculating she is, but until then, I kept wishing some scenes were left in the editing room.
Because no matter how different and captivating a movie is, 149 minutes isn’t generally the amount I’m ready to give to a mystery/ drama/ thriller. Well-done epic movies? Sure. A decent piece in a trilogy where you don’t have the chance to get bored because every scene (and interaction) is necessary? Yeah.
But for me, Gone Girl would be even better at 139 minutes. Hell, at 129 or a little less, I could have jumped at the “masterpiece” wagon.
Because when a film is rated at 8.3 on IMDB (already grabbing a place on the site’s 250 best movies list) and has earned more than 350 million dollars at the box office against its 61 million budget, you want to be blown away by every second of the movie. There’s no place for boredom.
Call me sentimental, traditional or whatever, but I still prefer Se7en. At a little over 2 hours, it is tighter, creepier and has the more satisfactory ending. (Se7en is also on IMDB 250 and rated over 8 (8.7.,to be exact)-hence the comparison).
And the problem is with establishing your “villain” to be so brilliant is this haunting question: didn’t she have anything better to do with that Harvard degree and brain of hers than to take revenge? No attempts at world-domination? Trying to save the world or destroy it? And why let herself stoop to such a level if she is so awesome? Isn’t pretending to be someone else to find yourself a partner something losers, or at least very irrational people do?
Her motives and actions don’t match the IQ and OCD-thinking we’re given, and that’s another con if you think about the movie too much.
That said, I love Fincher, and this was a solid movie. But worth the rating and the box office-smashing? Not to me.
How did you feel about the movie? Please let me know in the comments.
Fun Gone Girl Trivia
- The movie was written by Gillian Flynn, who adapted it from her own novel.
- Scoot McNairy, our lovely protagonist from Monsters, plays one of Amy’s victims.
- Director David Fincher (Fight Club), while mainly known for his dark mystery/thrillers (Se7en, Zodiac, Panic Room, The Game) has also found huge success with dramas (The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.)
- In the shooting script, Nick Dunne is mentioned to be in his 30s. Ben Affleck is in his early 40s.
- Some of Rosamund Pike’s films include Pride and Prejudice, Jack Reacher, Surrogates and Fracture.
Also on Ben Affleck
Also on Rosamund Pike