Gone Girl Review
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Ben Affleck/Rosamund Pike
Based on the book by Gillian Flynn
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 149 Minutes
How Well Do You Know Your Spoilers
Who the heck did I even marry? This is the question that so many couples ask themselves and it’s not surprising. Just think of the people you consider yourself close too. What do you actually know about them? It’s amazing how much we let slip in between the cracks of our conversations. Most of us spend so much time talking about issues that aren’t even important at all we never get to anything of substance. In David Finchers 2014 mystery slash battle of wills “Gone Girl” this is best shown when husband Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is asked his wife Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) blood type and he doesn’t know. It’s not that Nick doesn’t care about his wife; it’s simply that he never thought to ask. In “Gone Girl” this lack of knowledge comes back to haunt Nick as he finds out exactly what his wife is capable of.
“Gone Girl” tells the story of Nick Dunne a former New writer who now makes his living co-owning a small Missouri bar with his sister Margo (Carrie Coon) and teaching at the local college. On his fifth anniversary he comes home to find his home in shambles and his wife gone. Since Amy is beautiful and smart, this triggers a massive search along with an equally huge media circus, as Amy becomes a celebrity. But, a Nicks lies and infidelities slowly start getting reveled to the world, the public turns on him and soon he is the number one suspect in his wife’s disappearance.
It’s about an hour into the movie when we get the big reveal, Amy Dunne is still alive, it turns out that Amy is an extremely cunning sociopath who’s taking revenge for Nick’s crimes against her by making him look like a psychotic wife killer. It’s long until Nick relies this and decides that he will have to resurrect his image to save his life. While Margo and high price attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) assist him in the media war, Amy’s pettiness and impatience ruin her escape plan and she is forced to seek shelter with Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris) her millionaire ex boyfriend turned stalker who may be even more dangerous than she is.
My enjoyment of “Gone Girl” was almost totally from it’s characters. I knew from the first scene that Nick didn’t kill his wife because that would have been too simple and these types of movies are never simple. The big twist was never in doubt for me, so the only things that would keep me invested were the characters and the ending. I’m happy to report that one of those was really good. While both Nick and his wife were varying degrees of fucked up and awful, they were the kind of awful that inspired fascination rather than revulsion. Amy is a shockingly manipulative sociopath and Nick would be just as bad if not for the fact that he still has love for his family and guilt for his misdeeds. The relationship between the two isn’t interesting just because of how damaged they both are but also despite the hurt they inflicted on each other they can’t imagine a life without each other. It’s not even hatred, it’s the simple fact that they have revealed their horrible inner self to each other and found themselves intrigued rather than horrified. Isn’t that what everyone wants out of a relationship, someone to accept you for who you really are.
The dialogue was what kept me invested over the long running time. Amy’s was especially good. Every line out of her mouth seemed careful crafted to produce the reaction she wanted. Like any good Sociopath she sees most people as puppets to manipulated and she is ready to say or do anything to make that happen. Still it wasn’t perfect as characters actually use the words vagina and feces in casual conversations. Ask yourself, have you ever heard such ugly and clinical words used in anything even resembling casual conversation. Fortunately these are small bumps in an otherwise good script that was supported by “Gone Girls” other strengths
Since this is a David Fincher movie you’ll wont be surprised to hear that the cinematography is excellent. Each shot’s has exactly what the Fincher wants at the forefront. The lighting is another strongpoint, the excellent use of bright lights and heavy shadows brings to mind the detective movies of the nineteen fifties and forties. Sadly with all this in “Gone Girls” favor it all comes apart in the end.
Despite what I’m about to say, “Gone Girl” is worth watching and I’d advise anyone who likes thrillers to see it and decide on it’s quality for themselves, but for me the ending has more than a few problems. It not that Amy’s grand plan was absurdly complicated (I’m used to that in movies) but by the movies end Amy has killed Desi and forged evidence to make it look like he kidnapped, tortured, starved and raped her. While this is a good plan, it’s a shame that she looks perfectly normal. While Amy’s giving this tearful confession to the F.B.I she still looks like a beautiful Hollywood actress. You’d thing the Feds would be curious why some one who has been starved and tortured doesn’t have a mark on her well fed body. That sad part is that this could have been fixed with a good makeup job. I was also sad that some good parts from the book got cut form the script.
In the book we get more background on both our main characters. We learn about Nicks horribly abusive father made childhood hell and how Amy’s writer parents modeled their character Amazing Amy after her and expected her to spend every moment trying to live up to that image. While some of this does make it into the movie, what’s really missed is the narration from Amy that descries her warped worldview. She talks about how she could feel joy like other children and how “all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don’t have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I’m not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again.” If this doesn’t show how phenomenally messed up the lady is, then nothing will.
What I missed the most was one of the final conversations between Amy and Nick ““My gosh, Nick, why are you so wonderful to me?’ He was supposed to say: You deserve it. I love you. But he said, ‘Because I feel sorry for you.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because every morning you have to wake up and be you.”” Amy latter admits that she can’t get this out of her head and it bothers her. This shows that Nick really has seen inside Amy and knows why she is the way she is. Amy’s actions may have been monstrous but her motivation was all too human. All she wanted was to love and to be loved in return. Whether it’s because of irregular brain chemistry, a bad upbringing or just because she was born an evil bitch, she just can’t do it. It’s actual sad, here’s this woman who has so much, but she can’t fell that one simple thing that even the most unfortunate person feels at least once. Even worse is that like every other sociopath she’s managed to convince herself that everyone’s as broken as she is. I guess when the good part of a person is gone it never comes back.
Did I like the movie: Yes
Would I watch it again: Yes
Would I buy it: no
A husband get a box with note saying his wife’s been kidnapped and that her fingers in the box to prove it. The husband sends the kidnapper a messages, saying “that could be anyone’s finger, send me her head so I can be sure”