Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, et al…
Director: David Fincher
Runtime: 149 minutes
Plot (taken from IMDb): With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.
Gone Girl is an outstanding film. It’s a film full of intrigue, humour and a building sense of dread. Gone Girl is smart, classy and downright entertaining, held together by a watertight script and fine performances, Gone Girl is effortless filmmaking.
The plot of the film is simple enough, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is suspected of killing his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), who has gone – hence the name. A lot of the film is dedicated to showing us what happened in their lives up the point of conflict, their story. This technique was ultimately a tad too slow for my liking as the film ended up totalling 149 minutes. However, what this allowed came in the films revelations, and I certainly do not want to spoil that.
The real meat of Gone Girl came in its second half, a slow build up like the best progressive songs allowing for fireworks. The majority of the film plays out as showing us Nick, how he responds to media pressure, police pressure and family pressure; what ensues is often hilarious, Gone Girl is a comedy about marriage as I see it.
Throughout the whole film however there is a general sense of unease, like something has, or will go wrong, this is great direction and writing as it completely hooked me in – I needed to know what happened. All throughout, Nick is played as too calm, not caring much about his situation, which really works in the films favour as setting him up as the main suspect. You don’t really like Nick, or Amy, or anyone else for that matter, Nick is too tied up with the attention he’s getting to be liked; but you don’t need to like them. You spend the film caring for the characters, you want to know what has happened, and you feel sorry for their situation despite the main cast evidently being jackasses.
And this is a testament to the acting. Rosamund Pike in particular is fantastic, holding her character with poise, dignity and a brash kind of intelligence whereas Ben Affleck plays it cool, calm and collected – odd for a man suspected of killing his wife. Affleck also wears his emotions on his sleeves at times, a great performance from a talent I have never been quite sure about. Tyler Perry though, who plays lawyer Tanner Bolt is played largely for laughs, albeit not quite of his cross-dressing roles as the character Madea. The whole cast performs well, but the standouts are the three mentioned above.
There are a couple of moments of extreme violence in the movie, and these are handled well despite their incredibly graphic nature. Indeed, the violence on show is very shocking, perhaps not for the faint of heart.
In the end, Gone Girl is a mystery film, and does the ending hold out with the rest of the film’s building intrigue? Yes. Gone Girl ends very well, and good thing too, as otherwise all of its good work would’ve been ruined.
Gone Girl is effortlessly good, it oozes class, poise and composure, and all while making you laugh. There are a couple of horrific moments that will make you wince, but never mind that, this is a film that should be nominated for more awards than it currently is.
David Fincher’s Gone Girl is fantastic. A real treat of a film.