UK Release by 20th Century Fox – 2nd October 2014
Directed by David Fincher
Brief Synopsis: When a young marriage begins to loose the attention it deserves, conflict ensues in the most extraordinary of fashions. Guilt, innocence and the media all play their key role in the onset of twists and turns in this unflinching thriller.
I struggle to find a place to begin in expressing the inexplicable horrors that rein this piece of chilling and flawless cinema from David Fincher. The director is a mastermind at conveying complex storylines and ferocious characters with bloodcurdling subtlety. Gone Girl pushes the psychological thriller into a domestic space amongst a post-structuralist backdrop of American lifestyle. The unbelievable becomes the believable and deceit becomes a biological way of life.
Gillian Flynn does what most other authors wouldn’t dream of, she adapts her own novel and manages to pull off a compelling and Finchable screenplay. The two instigators weave together pieces of a story that never gets lost amongst its intricacies and manages to continually swallow the audience’s attention for the next bit of information. The silver screen is lit up with a formidable and haunting tone within which there is no escape, or rather a light at the end of the tunnel; one deserves to talk in metaphors to imagine the power of this story and the mental state of the characters. I even found myself short of breath at one point in the film, a sheer example of how character immersive Fincher’s films can become. He throws you down the well and teases you, if you like, think of Bruce Wayne trying to escape the walls of Bane’s prison in Gotham, except he fails (sorry for the spoiler)!
Extraordinary credit is due to Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike who maintain an enticing and complex presence for every millisecond of their screentime. What are you thinking? We wonder this and so do they; it is a key theme that opens and closes the movie. More to the point, we might ask ourselves: “What on earth is going through the mind of Amy Dunne? What is she truly thinking?” Fincher hits a home run with one of the most exasperating and vexatious questions that dominate our day to day interactive conscience. To answer your question: there is no answer, only you can formulate one.
Pike’s performance is Oscar-worthy. It may not be the right material for the award, but the fact that she can be utterly believable in utterly unbelievable situations is remarkable on her part. Not to say, this situation wouldn’t happen in reality, but it certainly isn’t an easy one to disarmingly convey to a potentially critical audience. Pike is pitch perfect at expressing her unconceivable beauty cluttered with cunning body language, both of which wrap poor Nick Dunne’s mind into a fruity blender.
Affleck is passive in his portrayal of Nick and although we are thrown almost immediately into his concerned shoes, we continue to learn ways about Nick that test our own moral code and compassion. By the end of the film, the audience may not be able to comprehend a stance of empathy; they will most likely position themselves on the brewing sea of questions, answers and within the forthcoming storm. It is a storm of thoughts that will be swimming around in your mind as you leave the theatre; never have I wobbled down the aisle and almost tripped face-first down the escalator as when departing from Gone Girl.