Film, In Review: Gone Girl

Compromised love, in the midst of a tumultuous partnership, will eventually destroy a thing so fragile to begin with…

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) in "Gone Girl".

Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne) and Rosamund Pike (Amy Dunne) in “Gone Girl”.

Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) were not perfect, but they had the potential to be. She was a bestselling children’s author and he was a business man set on advancing his entrepreneurial career. Together, they seemed unstoppable. Then Nick’s mother falls ill and they were forced to move out of their bustling concrete jungle and into the ominous sheath that is suburbia.

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Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne) in “Gone Girl”

In the opening scene, we meet Nick slumped over a drink at the bar he owns, with his sister Margo (Carrie Coon) behind the counter lending an ear to her brother’s latest marital conflict. When Nick returns home, he is surprised to find his house nearly in shambles of what appears to be a break in of some sort; that is of course, before he is unable to find his wife. In a matter of seconds, a simple break in and entry quickly becomes a conceptualized kidnapping. The disappearance of best selling children’s author ‘Amazing Amy’ soon makes headlines and stirs a blissful fire of life in a town that preferred to remain asleep. Days pass, then weeks, and a whodunit kidnapping eventually turns into a murder mystery with Nick as its prime suspect. As Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and her team searches restlessly for the body of Amy Dunne, Nick is left to prove his innocence, with the help of infamous criminal attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), and uncover the mystery that Amy has deviously designed for him to unravel.

Gone Girl, based on the best selling novel by Gillian Flynn, was adapted to screen by Flynn, with superb direction from David Fincher. Rosamund Pike stars as Amy Dunne, Ben Affleck as her dubious husband. The films supporting actors, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, and Kim Dickens, makes the film an enjoyable piece with cavernous twists that lead to maniacal meanderings, a consequence of devilishly good acting.

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Rosamund Pike (Amy Dunne) in “Gone Girl”

Pike stands out as the utmost treasure amongst her cast mates. She is exceptional as the beloved and manipulative Amy who is dually troubled and justified in her attempts to resurrect her dilapidated marriage. Affleck, however, is mildly unconvincing as a potentially guilty homicidal maniac. He is flat and sometimes rigid when delivering the punch line, which ideally relies on tonal emphasis.

Carrie Coon (Margo Dunne) and Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne) in "Gone Girl"

Carrie Coon (Margo Dunne) and Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne) in “Gone Girl”

Carrie Coon and Tyler Perry do well to accentuate comedy subtly as their characters ask the questions audiences are asking themselves. Neil Patrick Harris plays a small but poignant role as Desi Collins, Amy’s former lover and friend with Kim Dickens rounding out the cast as the determined but level headed cop desperate to lift the mask off of this whirlwind mystery.

Undeniably, the cinematography is perhaps the most riveting facet of this film. The film is shot from a surveillance vantage point no matter the point of view of the enacted character.

“Director of Photography Jeff Cronenweth executes a marvellous visual spectacle albeit, a fantastical world in which murder has never been more visually entertaining.”

Fincher also merits applause for his perceptive lens confirming the audiences suspicion at every turn that, someone is always watching and it is never those you expect.

The film’s score is just as enchanting, advancing suspense and creating doubt in its characters whenever need be.The writing prolongs a yearning curiosity for audiences who want to further delve into the mind of Amy Dunne, a craving likely satisfied for readers of the novel.

Nonetheless, the script provided insights and questions reflective of human behaviour and character. Gone Girl then, is a magnificent film for film goers and fans of sleuth fiction, or anything not reminiscent of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.


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