Gone Girl (2014) Movie Review “Fincher Crafts Yet Another Gem”

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My girlfriend and I showed up about half an hour before our showing of the highly anticipated “Gone Girl” would start. A line already formed as we got in it anxiously awaiting to be let into the theater. Once we did, we sat down toward the back rows of the theater towards the middle of the isle. The theater filled up, packed shoulder to shoulder as we all waited to see what this film had in store for us. What we saw (or at least what I saw) was a breath taking dark, disturbing, and oddly enough funny film that is one of the best directed movies of the year, with an incredibly refined script with so many twists and turns that you won’t see coming. The Oscar caliber acting, and amazing musical score only adds to what could be one of David Fincher’s best films to date

“Gone Girl” is based off the blockbuster novel by Gillian Flynn and tells the story of the disappearance of Amy Dunne. With little evidence anywhere of her, the police start to suspect her husband, Nick Dunne as being responsible for the disappearance. Now the media circus is at Nick’s front door, the police creeping down his back, and no one will be prepared for what comes next.

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I must confess that I’ve actually have not read the book to “Gone Girl”. I have a new rule for myself that if there is a new movie coming out and it’s based off the book, I won’t read it until I see the movie. By not reading the book I can judge the film as a film and not judge it based on my preconceived notions on how the movie should be. Not reading the book was one of the best things I could have done for myself I had no idea what was going to happen and was entranced in the film’s story.

The film’s story starts off with the morning of the disappearance of Any Dunne and doesn’t leave you with much context clues on how it might have happened. So when we as the audience start trying to figure out who did it we are kept on our toes. We think we have it figured out, then a new piece of the puzzle is revealed then we go back to square one. The movie is so carefully plotted that each new plotline and trend is finely connected to the story as a whole. So many times we’ve seen films (or read books) that try to throw in plot twists and hooks into the story to shock us for shocks sake. Yet, don’t have any bearing or relation to anything that has already happened in the story. In this essence it would begin to contradict the whole film, not here though. The twists all link together in the plot. While the whole first act is a nice slow burn to the second and third acts that leave viewers pulse pounding and hair raising.

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If the twists and turns in the story or the narrative isn’t enough to raise this above a simple whodunit case, then the characters will. It’s very easy to paint people either plainly good or plainly bad but here that is nonexistent. Each one of the main players are multi-dimensional, multi faceted, and multi layered. Like the plot, the character get developed more and more as time continues to past. Through the flashbacks, and twists, and in very key moments we see eventually all these different sides that we weren’t expecting and yet it all works. None of it feels like it came out of “left field”, we have reasons to both love them and hate them. As well to the point where you don’t know which character to side with. The script juxtaposes several characters against one another in the various different acts makes for a moral ambiguity type of narrative.

Playing these characters is a cast that equals both oddity and a level of genius. Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, and if there is still anymore doubters to his acting ability, it should be vanquished with this. Affleck acts both smug and charming but teeters on the edge of the unhinged. Rosamund Pike should get an Academy Award nomination for playing his wife, Amy Dunne in what is a career making performance. Tyler Perry is even impeccable casting and sinks deep into the role of the lawyer Tanner Bolt. Neil Patrick Harris was solid but not overwhelmingly good. Carrie Coon is a surprising stand out playing Nick’s sister that isn’t maybe getting enough recognition as she should be. Kim Dickens as well, was great as the detective on the case.

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David Fincher once again shows why he is one of the best directors in Hollywood. His shots behind the camera is flawless with beautiful cinematography, every frame feels almost like art work. He uses the excellent score by Trent Razor and Atticus Rose to a heart stopping effect, even if early on there appeared to be some odd sound mixing making it a little harder to understand the dialogue.

This is a story that has a lot to say about the way the media presents information. Either the media condemns (people involved in cases like this) or uplifts them into saint hood. “Gone Girl” makes you realize that maybe the information we are getting through news organizations aren’t always the full truth and perhaps think twice about what you see or read. Despite it’s sometimes twisted way it has many things to say about relationships as well. Healthy or non-healthy, this movie puts that topic in the crosshairs and makes you exam these sorts of themes without it being overbearing or too subtle.

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Maybe it’s a little early for this but when the Oscars comes knocking this film will be there to open the door for them. “Gone Girl” is a near flawless victory for both David Fincher and the rest of the cast and crew. No doubt the ending will leave some disappointed but it’s different and unique, and creates discussion and debate. If you haven’t seen “Gone Girl” yet, you need to get to cinemas as soon as possible to see it.

Final Score

9.5/10

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