Review: Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (dir. David Fincher, 2014) – With odds against his favour, Nick Dunne becomes the prime suspect of his wife’s disappearance.

Verdict

Bold turns grip from start to finish of this character-driven experience.

5/5

Review

Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing. The police believes her husband Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is responsible for her abduction. When questions outpace answers to Amy’s mysterious disappearance, the town begins to suspect that he may not be as innocent as he claims.

The premise of Gone Girl is simple, and may possibly find an easy fit on your standard shelf of run-of-the-mill mystery novels. But as with director David Fincher’s usual choices of source material, no crime is what it purports to be.

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
If he had looked up, he’d have noticed she was right there the whole time.

The further the reel spins, the more the whodunit façade sheds. Intrigue goes beyond the identity of the crime’s unknown perpetrator. Each day gone reveals layers beneath layers in an intelligent plot that is far from predictable.

Author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn spins an elaborate web upon uneasy themes, which spawn from the darkest corners of human relationships and mortal sins. Questions on motivations make the vilest subjects magnetising in all their depravity.

Nuanced performances from Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck subtly draw out the defining complexity of their compelling leads. Psychological motivations behind their actions prove intricate and as a result, fascinating.

Gone Girl
“Come on guys. Daredevil was what, 11 years ago?!”

Perceptions continually reshape in this bold narrative that cleverly underplays a major twist midway, only to crescendo into another gripping series of provocative moments. All of it is strange, disturbing, startlingly gruesome, and doubtlessly engrossing.

With the expanse of imagination words allow, there is no question that the source novel delves deeper into the Dunnes and their inner thoughts. But David Fincher’s adaptation is more than satisfying. His consistently top-form direction unravels the brilliant turns with lasting intensity and necessarily cold elegance.

A quietly throbbing score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross complements, and these perfect elements come together for one of the most gratifying cinematic experiences in recent times. There is much to be said about the narrative’s deep wit in its critiques on the media circus and public perceptions, but there are rules to follow.

  • You do not talk about the plot.
  • You do not talk about the plot.
  • If someone tells you about the plot, the friendship is over.
  • Remember: no trailers, no clips.
  • The secrecy will last as long as it can.
  • And finally, if you haven’t seen this, you have to.
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