Gone Girl Good Enough to Stick Around

Posted on November 13, 2014 by

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Gone Girl is a new film from director David Fincher based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. It tells the story of a man suspected for his wife’s murder after she mysteriously disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary.

Flynn also wrote the screenplay for the film and kept in much of the novel’s razor sharp dialogue and dual-storytelling dynamic. We first meet Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) on the day his wife, Amy (Rosamnud Pike), went missing.  Then we witness his life unravel from there while a media circus erupts around him. The portrayal of Nick in the film is even more ambiguous than in the novel because his inner thought process, a main component in the novel, is gone in the film.

These scenes are juxtaposed with scenes from Nick and Amy’s early romance in New York City. This story thread shows a happy relationship between two happy people slowly souring, with Amy’s voiceover narration filling in the spectator.

As both plotlines move forward, we learn more about Nick and Amy as well as their fragile relationship. Amy is the daughter of successful children’s book authors who based their bestselling series, Amazing Amy, on her. Nick is a magazine writer who loses his job due to the recession. This, along with Amy’s parents running into financial trouble, forces Nick and Amy to relocate to Missouri.

The film contains many twists and turns, including one major twist at the halfway point. Even if some plot details seem like a stretch on paper, the film is so engrossing and well written that the audience never questions the direction the story takes.

Flynn was also sure to keep in some of the novel’s acidic humor. One dramatic scene in the third act is underscored by such a dark sense of humor that it’s hard not to laugh despite the serious ramifications of such a scene.

The film is difficult to write about without giving away spoilers. If you intend to see it, the less you know about it beforehand, the better.

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