Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy Dunne; a married couple who’s struggling marriage finally reaches it’s breaking point on the morning of their 5th anniversary when Amy is all of a sudden missing. When the local police led by Detective Boney (Kim Dickens) begin to investigate Amy’s disappearance; almost immediately signs are pointing to Nick as a potential suspect. As the town and soon the media gets involved, Nick’s suspicious behavior on the matter begins raising questions with more and more fingers pointing to him. Suddenly, with the world is looking down on Nick; he turns to his sister (Carrie Coone) and a successful lawyer (Tyler Perry) to help calm the frenzy and find his missing wife in order to prove his innocence.
First off I want to state that I did not read the book, therefore my expectations on the story weren’t impacted. However, considering that Gone Girl is directed by David Fincher; my expectations were based on what work the director has previously given us (Se7en, The Social Network). Fincher has a unique style of directing and a strong talent in story telling, and it’s both those elements which make this a strong film. From the start of the film to the very end I felt like the story moved in a steady smooth pace. Even with Gone Girl’s 2hr 25min run time it didn’t feel like a long movie to me, because I was so pulled into this world full of drama and thriller where I wanted to know what happens next. The film delivers on every twist and turn which is to be expected from a director like Fincher, and I mean that as a compliment.
There were two standout performances from the entire cast in Rosamund Pike and Tyler Perry, but before I get to that I want to give praise to Ben Affleck. He’s been on a hot streak with really good performances in The Town, Argo, and even Runner Runner. Because I didn’t read the book I wasn’t sure if the character of Nick Dunne was written to seem so monotonous with all the events happening around him, but I’m gonna go ahead and assume he was. I thought Ben Affleck did a terrific job as the clueless husband who’s wondering just what his wife is up to. The film follows him as he unravels the clues left behind from his wife and not in one moment did I feel like he didn’t deliver.
Rosamund Pike easily owns this film as Amy Dunne. Her character is actually nicknamed “Amazing Amy” in certain parts of the film, and that sums up her performance in two words. I wouldn’t consider it much a spoiler to say that Amy is sort of a psychopath with emotions going everywhere, and Rosamund Pike plays the character so well delivering when the film’s plot points (twists & turns) rely on her to do so. Too soon to say Oscar nod? I don’t think so.
Tyler Perry is the surprise of the film as the lawyer named Tanner Bolt. Most people wouldn’t have high expectations on Perry going into the film, which may be why he was so surprisingly good to many. While I agree to that to a certain extent, the fact remains that he is really good in this supporting role. With all the insanity happening throughout the film it’s Perry’s job as Tanner Bolt to keep things calm and in a legal perspective. Tyler Perry just succeeded in this role.
As for the smaller characters I know a lot of people had expectations for Neil Patrick Harris to jump out and give a breakout performance as Desi Collings, but I don’t feel like he really gave a performance that was out there from the rest. Now just because expectations weren’t met doesn’t mean he was bad. I just don’t think the film gave him enough to really do more. And we all know David Fincher can really get the actors in his film to give memorable/breakout performances. Carrie Coone on the other hand, as Margo Dunner (Nick’s AWESOME sister) gave a good performance in a limited role. As the story progressed her character became more involved, and when called upon Carrie Coone nailed it.
Overall, Gone Girl is another great film from David Fincher, who does in fact get his actors to give the best performances based on what he asks from them. Credit also has to be given to writer Gillian Flynn who rewrote the ending with Fincher. I didn’t mind the change so much after reading the original ending. The film kind of left on an open ending perhaps to speculate where the characters go from here (really trying not to spoil).
Gone Girl does a terrific job portraying how the media will behave during cases like ones in the film. I guess likability is everything. I won’t forget to mention the film has a great soundtrack to make certain intense moments even more so. I’m not married, but I’m sure there will be some controversy or discussions on the topic of marriage after watching this film. I highly recommend this film; it’s the best drama/thriller of the year so far. A MUST SEE! I’m actually gonna watch it again.
I’m giving Gone Girl – 9.5/10
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