Gone Girl English Movie Review
Director David Fincher has been on a book-adapting spree for the last few years, with his last 5 movies all being adaptations of popular books. His latest, Gone Girl, is an adaptation of author Gillian Flynn's successful 2012 novel of the same name.
The story follows Nick Dunne, the owner of a bar The Bar, as his wife Amy disappears on the morning of their fifth anniversary. It doesn't take long before Nick becomes the prime suspect in her suspected murder. But did he really do it? Did Nick actually kill his own wife?
We are presented with two narratives: one presented by Nick and the other through his wife's diary. Both sides to the story are so convincing that you cannot possibly decide who to trust. As Nick keeps sliding down further and further in the mud, you don't know whether to condemn him for the murderous act he might have committed or to feel sorry for him as he is accused of a crime he didn't commit. In fact, you're only able to pick sides once the big reveal has been made. And that's when the film switches gears.
It starts off at the pace of a typical small town life, slow and docile, content with building the intrigue and setting things up for the cards to be flipped. Once that happens, the film goes into overdrive, ultra-violent mode, moving at a breakneck speed. Characters ranging from stalker ex-boyfriends to evil talk show hosts enter the picture. The skeletons start tumbling out of the closet and all hell breaks loose. There are moves, countermoves, plotting, scamming, seducing, theft and everything else that you can possibly imagine.
And in the middle of this shitstorm, all you can do is sit back and enjoy as the various characters are maneuvered like the pawns in a deadly game of chess; as the film unravels and reaches an ending that does complete justice to everything that came before it; and think to yourself in your amazed state, "mind=blown."
David Fincher does here what he does best: tell a dark, grim, edgy, psychologically thrilling story with a twisted sense of humor and involving severely demented characters. He did it successfully with Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, and he outdoes himself with Gone Girl. Hell, he did it successfully with even the weakest film of his career, a very decent The Game. Had a single hair been out of place, the film wouldn't have worked; after all, none of the characters are very likable people or anyone you'd want to be alone in a room with for any length of time.
But Fincher makes it work, and he makes it work beautifully. He, aided by the fact that the film has been written by author Gillian Flynn himself, maneuvers all the twists and turns without overwhelming the audience. He directs every single scene and every voiceover with surgical precision, and the result is probably the most delicious Hollywood film in the longest time. Yup, I said it.
Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, an unassuming sort of a guy till he's backed into a corner. Although slightly wooden in the beginning, Affleck manages to come into his own as the film progresses, effectively portraying all the emotions that his character goes through by the end of the film. Rosamund Pike's Amy Dunne is definitely the performance of the film: expressionless and subdued in the narration of her diary's contents, frantic and hysteric at the drop of a pin.
Neil Patrick Harris, as one of Amy's ex-boyfriends, is probably a bit miscast. I have no doubt that NPH has the dramatic chops to pull off tough roles, but he just isn't creepy enough to do justice to Desi Collins. Tyler Perry, as Nick's lawyer, is unrecognizable without a wig and lipstick (his unfortunately popular character of Madea in numerous films), but he is effective enough in a small part. Carrie Coon (as Nick's sister) and Kim Dickens (as the detective on the murder case) provide able support.
The film belongs to Gillian Flynn, David Fincher and Rosamund Pike. It takes an old-fashioned murder-mystery tale and transforms it into a new-age classic that deserves multiple viewings to fully appreciate its brilliance. If there's only one film that you'll watch in the next one year, let it be this one. This is one film that shouldn't be missed at any cost. As if that wasn't apparent already.