<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by David Fincher. Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon, David Clennon, Kim Dickens
If you’re a guy getting married soon I’d suggest you avoid Gone Girl. If you don’t, your wife-to-be will undoubtedly try and steer you clear of this one and instead insist you watch the worst of this week’s films: The Best Of Me.
But seriously, more people should watch this film to find out the truth about being in a marriage. And being stuck in a bad marriage.
Gone Girl starts off innocently enough in a dreary small town in Missouri where Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), not too keen on celebrating his fifth anniversary, comes home to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing and a table shattered to pieces. The cops come in and you know the husband is always the first suspect but he cooperates and inspite of his shallow and indifferent behaviour you can’t really believe he kidnapped or killed his wife. His sister Margo (Carrie Coon) certainly doesn’t want him to go to jail and supports him and the town’s efforts to find her even though she’s never been too fond of Amy.
Just like the book, the film flip-flops timelines to the beginning of their relationship as it progressed over the years and then back to present day and a few days before her disappearance. This first leads to some amount of misdirection. You aren’t certain what is really happening. David Fincher very deftly puts together the pieces so you’re riveted by the intrigue. Even when the second half takes off and you’re let in on the secret (which I won’t reveal since it’ll spoil it for you) you are still keen to know how this all will play out.
Gone Girl sent a shiver down my spine. It’s an honest story about how relationships can go wrong, really wrong. How marriages are far from being the happily ever afters we learnt in fairy tales. It also delves into how the media turns serious cases into circuses and in some ways how easy it is to manipulate the mood of the people. A theme touched on in more depth in the creepy but awesome film Nightcrawler.
Affleck’s persona never really lets you believe that he’s a killer. An asshole maybe, but not a murderer. Rosamund Pike has finally found a role that lets her explore more of her talent. In Gone Girl she’s both fragile and maniacal. Kim Dickens as the Detective investigating the case is also a standout. But Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s old boyfriend doesn’t quite hit the mark. In fact the whole bit with him and Amy is a bit over the top. But maybe that’s how it was meant to be.
Gone Girl is a macabre thriller that will chill you to the bone and will make men everywhere run a little bit faster away from that girlfriend who doesn’t seem quite right. Not a moment too soon!
PS: There are a few plot holes like why the detective takes so much time and avoids Amy’s pregnant best friend who wants to tell her something crucial. Also, it’s not very believable how the FBI just take Amy’s word for everything without investigating further.