REVIEW OF ‘GONE GIRL’
As someone who read the book Gone Girl a fair few months ago, I was impatient to see it and scared to be disappointed ever since I heard it was being made into a film. However, upon finding out more about it, I felt like I could reserve some trust in it as the author herself, Gillian Flynn, wrote the screenplay. It also had the incredible David Fincher directing it and he has a directing style that I love after he directed one of my favourite films, The Social Network. Therefore I reserved judgement towards the book-to-screen adaptation of Gone Girl and waited until I saw the film for myself.
On the October 3rd, I wrapped myself up in my coat, stopped by Costa for a drink, and then headed into the cinema to finally see Gone Girl – and I was in no way disappointed.
For those that haven’t read the book or seen the film yet, I’ll give a short background of the story. Gone Girl is based on the story of a writer named Nick Dunne and his wife Amy. On the day of their 5th wedding anniversary, Nick comes home to find his house trashed and Amy missing. The plot then follows the police investigation into her disappearance and all that becomes of it.
I will give a heads-up right now for those of you that might go to see this film with no prior knowledge – Gone Girl has an unsettling story, it’s not quite what you think and it can be very intense.
One thing that can be said is that the fact the screenplay was adapted by the author of Gone Girl made sure that this story kept very much with the structure and tone of the best-selling novel. It contains some great twists and plot points that make it a very engaging story that translated perfectly to the big screen. Fincher has an ability to create great tone with his films, and the dark humour and force of this film has been done perfectly by the smooth and systematic collaboration between Fincher and Flynn. Typically of David Fincher films, that have a history of not being as obvious as you may think, this film keeps you guessing and throws you some major curveballs to keep you on your toes. In terms of Fincher’s previous directing endeavours, Gone Girl has less of the flair that Fight Club had, and is rawer and explores the ordinariness of danger.
Now for the acting within this film, in my opinion – as a fan of the book – the choice of actors are spectacularly on point. Personally I hold reservations for Ben Affleck as an actor, you could say I’m always a little on the fence. I think after the DC/Batman debacle that happened last year, many others agreed with this opinion. However, he proved to an excellent choice for the part as he captured the character of Nick as a mundane, standoffish guy. This work as a character he could just as easily be liked or severally disliked by people depending on how you perceive him which is perfect for the storyline. Rosamund Pike, who I was not very familiar with before this film, was simply incredible, she was easily the most shining performer within the film. Pike picks up on the elements of Amy that are needed to carry a story with some mind-bending twists and turns with great effortlessness. As a small side note for a less main character but an important element of the main arch of the film, Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s ex-boyfriend, portrays the part with ease and with a side of his acting that I don’t think people would expect of ‘Barney Stinson’ – let’s just say he plays creepy rather well.
Gone Girl is a film that I believe will be nominated (and win!) for Oscars this year; its story is explored with a perfect uphill pace. Rotten Tomatoes described this move as “stylish to a fault”, and I personally recommend you get yourselves to see this surprising, intriguing and wonderful film.
Rachael Atkinson Millmoor
Image: Mens Health