It’s difficult to talk much about Gone Girl without straying into spoiler territory, and in truth (if you haven’t already read the novel that it’s adapted from) it’s probably best enjoyed if you go into it knowing very little about it.
On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) discovers his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has gone missing. A police investigation and Amy’s own diary drag up secrets about the pairs marriage, with plenty of twists and turns marking the road to discovering where and why Amy Dunne had disappeared.
Those who’ve read the novel will know that the complex narrative style that often blurs the lines of fact and fiction could be difficult to adapt, but if anyone could handle such a story it would be David Fincher. And for ninety five percent of it’s runtime, it’s close to perfection.
But like many people who read Gillian Flynn’s literary phenomenon, I thoroughly enjoyed it until it’s last few pages, and then absolutely loathed the ending. There was talk of a whole new act being written for Fincher’s film, and whilst I wouldn’t give away the ending, I think it’s fair to say that if you were disappointed by the novel’s ending, you’ll probably be disappointed by this, too.
There’s a huge debate about whether a film can still be viewed as a success if it completely under-delivers in it’s ending, and I think generally they can, and there are so many positives to the film.
The cast are pretty solid. Initially, when Neil Patrick Harris was announced for the film I assumed he’d be playing smarmy lawyer Tanner Bolt and was surprised when he was announced as Amy’s obsessive former love Desi. However, he’s good in the role and Tyler Perry adds some needed light relief as Bolt. Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens and Emily Ratajkowski (of Blurred Lines fame) are also fine in the film, but performance wise it belongs solely to Rosamund Pike.
Ben Affleck has said himself that complex roles for women are often hard to come across in Hollywood, but Amy Dunne is one of the most fascinating I’ve seen in a long time. I actually really do like Ben Affleck as an actor, but it’s refreshing to see that for a film about a married couple, it’s the husband who feels less fleshed out and interesting than his spouse.
Again, it’s difficult to talk in too much depth about her without giving everything away, but Pike is a tour-de-force in the role and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she gets an Oscar nomination come new year.
The pacing of Gone Girl is also spot on and holds your attention throughout, and it got it’s 18 certificate for a reason; there’s a bedroom scene in this that could rival The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in terms of brutality.
Fincher’s Gone Girl is a powerful and fascinating examination of marriage which manages to captivate throughout. And if it had delivered more in it’s ending, it could’ve been perfect.