Gone Girl is no doubt a thrilling movie wherein the material and the director is perfectly matched, but it is also cold and unaffecting.
On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? (c) Fox
Gone Girl is a perfectly enjoyable albeit trashy film. David Fincher doesn’t disappoint with a stylish narrative and a well executed plot. The whodunit turns into an engaging game of he said and she said.
The best among the well performing cast is Rosamund Pike, whose icy upper class Amy makes you think, why didn’t they cast the actress as Emma Frost in X-men?
While it is suspenseful it isn’t exactly surprising. The revelation isn’t a gasp-inducing plot twist after all the build-up. While Ben Affleck has a punchable face he is wooden and unconvincing in the first act, making the rest of the misdirections obvious. Neil Patrick Harris is miscast in the 2nd act, so he’s character isn’t as potent as it should be. By the third act, Gone Girl squanders key points that would have made the movie more insightful.
Power dynamics and gender issues in the marriage would have given it more gravitas. Amy seems to have good intentions in helping her husband whose stuck in a rut after losing his job and his mother. Nick thinks he’s a worthless insignificant bum under the thumb of his wife who became the sole provider of the household. In retaliation, he dismisses her existence and distracts himself with something else.
Unfortunately, the movie demonizes Amy for a pulpy finish instead of capitalizing on these issues. Nick asks what Amy’s thinking, well what are they both thinking? They’re both pretending for other people and even to themselves. We’ll never know and in the end you won’t really care. Neither of the leads are likeable but at least Gone Girl does give one hell of a show that showcases trial by media and human fallibility at its finest.
My Rating: 8/10
PS: I haven’t read the book and reviewed this as a standalone film not a book adaptation.