Originally a 2012 novel by Gillian Flynn (who went on the write the screenplay of this film), and directed by David Fincher (Who also directed Fight Club, Se7en and The Social Network) – Gone Girl is a film that has that “People will be talking about it for years to come” quality.
Our film stars the now very credible actor Ben Affleck (Argo was him proving that he wasn’t just Matt Damon’s friend who gets work for knowing the right people), who plays Nick Dunne, a bar owner who also worked as a writer at 1 point. He’s married to Amy Elliot-Dunne (played by Bond Girl Rosamund Pike) who is also a writer, and is the inspiration of “Amazing Amy”, a series of children’s books written by her parents. Nick also has a twin sister named Margo, who reminded me a little of Debra Morgan from Dexter (played by Carrie Coon in her 1st major movie role). After going to the bar that he and Margo own, in order to play the Game Of Life Board Game together (On what is his and Amy’s wedding anniversary), Nick returns home to find a rather disturbing scene. A glass coffee table has been violently broken and turned over, with some signs of a struggle. He calls the cops, who begin to find blood around the house, and as evidence piles up, more and more it begins to look like Nick had staged his wife’s possible death/disappearance. Did he do it? You’ll have to watch it for yourself.
Dear goodness, this film was so tight! So multi-layered. It covers a range of themes, but it particularly focuses on “Truth In Love”. Nick and Amy have an amazing marriage, but it is also a complicated 1. It asks a lot of questions, some of which are scary. Questions such as “Are you sure you know who this person is?”. To which your answer would be yes, no or I don’t know, and then the challenge is whether to accept this person despite what you didn’t know about them before you chose to share everything. It also covers the theme of “Truth In Private vs Truth In Public”, what appears on the news could be complete lies, and this film is a demonstration of many possibilities on how that works. Even down to the point of having Missy Pyle play a cable TV host named Ellen Abbott, (based loosely on Nancy Grace) who accuses Nick of having a good time when some careless and selfish fan took a selfie with him and shares it, even though he asks her to delete the photo afterwards, due to how inappropriate it would look at that time. Context! News will not always have complete context. Or any, for that matter.
The acting is phenomenal. Neil Patrick Harris possibly played the most uncomfortable role of his entire career, and he did an excellent job playing Amy’s ex-boyfriend. However, Rosamund Pike as Amy, for me, possibly steals the show. She was amazing! Such a fascinating woman on so many levels. Much to the surprise of those who know him, this film also has Tyler Perry playing Nick’s Lawyer (His Madea character and movies are not particularly well received). He was great in this. Ben Affleck also did a great job, although he had to wear extra layers to cover up the fact that he’s built to play Batman in that movie to come out within the next few years *shudders*.
The music was created by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), it was dark, eery, at times ambient and in general very fitting.
So what was learned from this film, and would I recommend it? Well, first of all a key moral is that marriage is hard work, and some very stupid decisions could make it terrifying, whether for a while or forever. Also when it comes to truth, very often the news (or at least TV news) isn’t the best place to go, despite the iron grip on the fears and emotions of it’s trusting audience.
As you might notice, I’m trying to avoid going into too many details, to avoid spoilers if I can. Would I recommend it? I think you know the answer already. It’s fascinating, thrilling, terrifying, thought-provoking, and also funny. The humour in this, when it’s present is very good. Once again, go see it.
Overall Rating: ***** out of 5