REVIEW: GONE GIRL

Directed by David Fincher

Starring Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Carrie Coon, Neil Patrick Harris

Closely based on the 2012 bestselling novel of the same name, Gone Girl is the tenth foray into film of the acclaimed director David Fincher.

Presented as a glimpse into the unsettled marriage of the Dunne’s, this noir thriller builds tension from the starting blocks with the internal monologue of a man tortured by his desire. Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck in one of his most daring roles to date, is a victim of the unsteady economic climate of modern America. Sat at a bar with his on screen sibling played by Carrie Coon, Nick laments his impending anniversary and with that the seeds of intrigue are sown into what could be a simple humdrum narrative, yet this is simply not the case. With Gone Girl, nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Upon returning home the somewhat convenient discovery of his wife’s apparent abduction intensifies matters as he is drawn into the public eye in a search for finding ‘the amazing Amy’. Affleck once again demonstrates his ability as a Machiavellian leading man, showing a far darker side than we are used to, but it is balanced almost perfectly against Pike’s charming mystique.

The supporting cast is integrated sparingly and successfully, with each character allowing the viewer to sink deeper into the mystery. With Kim Dickens as the hardboiled detective that wants to crack the case and a stunning portrayal of a wounded ex-lover by Neil Patrick Harris, the casting truly shines throughout such a dark tale.

As with most of Fincher’s work, one of the film’s most noticeable strengths is its fantastically composed score by Atticus Ross, underlining the intrigue and weaving itself seamlessly through the fractured yet ever so compelling narrative of what actually happened to Amy Dunne.

I find that nowadays films adapted from existing materials do one of two things. They either don’t follow the original material close enough such as Kubrick’s adaptation of King’s The Shining. They can decide to unload unnecessary exposition that doesn’t fit into the cinematic experience or aid the narrative such as with one of Fincher’s previous adaptations in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Although the film has a relatively long run time, I found myself absorbed into the world that Fincher has adapted so well from the work of Gillian Flynn, necessary questions were answered yet the shroud of intrigue was never truly lifted from my eyes until the closing scenes and with that being said I still felt the urge to watch it again to make sure I really did know.

Tightly tuned from start to finish, Gone Girl contains some of the darkest yet thought provoking moments that cinema has offered this year. Aesthetically pleasing and with an experimental cast, this film is an example of a noir thriller at its best.

BEN SMART

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