I recently watched Gone Girl and was just blown away by the film. Adapted by the book of the same title by Gillian Flynn, who wrote the book and directed by David Fincher, the film follows Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has disappeared. But nothing is what it seems from the very start. I avoided reading or hearing about spoilers, having not read the book, other than to hear there are many twists. Though that is to be expected from a film following a mysterious disappearance and continuous revelations about a perfect looking marriage, told from flashbacks in Amy’s point of view, and in the present by Nick.
The film starts on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, and Amy has disappeared. When police arrive on the scene, Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and partner Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) sense something wrong with the scene. The first half sets up the characters, though the second half reveals more to the central couple, and the audience is found at a loss as who to believe in the narration of the film. The continuous input of media stories, and snippets overheard from journalists outside Nick’s house enhance the story line from a third party.
One reason that makes Gone Girl so compelling is Affleck and Pike. Affleck portrays Nick as likable, but an edge to him as he is drawn further in to the investigation. He affable demeanor makes you question him in the first half, until we saw more of Pike. This is her first role which has truly shown her acting chops. Played as beautiful, cold and stylish, Amy is terrifying and hypnotizing to watch on screen. At times it is hard to watch her on screen, but even harder to look away.
When watching the film, I was happy to note the humour in the film, which should not really be surprising for a Fincher film. Nevertheless, certain jokes created big laughs in the cinema, mostly coming from Fugit or Tyler Perry’s lawyer.
Finally, another reason this film is simply stunning is the combination of music with the cinematography. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, working with Fincher for the third time have created a wonderful soundtrack for the film. Just as the film is stylish and smooth, the music is eery and haunting and finishes the picture perfectly. A mix of soothing, and erratic electric sounds provides an almost continuous unnerving background noise to the film. Cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, collaborating with Fincher for a fourth time , photographs this film in a gorgeous way. Long shots of quiet streets recur throughout the film, building the stillness in some of the scenes, and contrasting to the violent action in others. Soft tones are used, so any bright colours are bold and eye catching.
This film is a riveting watch. All the elements combined, of the narration, characters, sound and cinematography provide a film that does not drag despite its 2 and a half run time. It is shocking with its twists and turns and though the closing scenes feel anti climatic it makes you yearn for just one extra scene and leaves you stunned in your seat.