Nick Dunne reports that his beautiful wife, Amy, has disappeared. Under scrutiny from the police and media circus around him, the spotlight is turned on him. Soon his lies and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?
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Flynn herself adapted the book, and her screenplay displays a remarkably judicious whittling process, as well as a keen notion of what would and wouldn’t play on the screen versus the page. Both she and Fincher smartly craft the film as if expecting most of the crowd to know the big second act twist going in, and that frees her to focus on the various knife twists that imbue even the most tossed-off exchanges with menace and suspicion.
Tragedies and thrillers, even preposterous ones, are not designed to make you laugh… The absurdity, its laughableness, is a necessary part of the film. [Gone Girl is a domestic comedy] in the classic, Shakespearean sense — it is a story that tilts and swerves, yet resolves, in the end, in marriage.
What is exceptionally clever about Gone Girl, again both novel and film, is that its second half replaces the murderous-husband schema with a revelation of Amy as a spider woman. [By asking for help from Desi Collings,] Amy re-creates the lethal-husband scenario and recruits Desi as her helper male. Of course in most such plots, the helper male rescues the woman from peril. Here she is the peril.
"I feel like I'm in a Law & Order episode," says Affleck's character. Unfortunately, Gone Girl is truly as trashily written as bad television until it gets bored with itself and wants to mix things up with twists. Starting non-engagingly and lacking Fincher's usual finesse for an oddly modest approach when it needed an auteurist touch, while the (knowingly?) superficial dialogue is as bloated as its runtime.
Second-guessing my own snobbery, I decided to skip the Republican debate last night and watch Gone Girl. It was bound, I figured, to be slickly entertaining at least. And for a while, it was. But Fincher eventually succumbs to the ugly vacuity of his source material, concocting a crude, incoherent misogyny instead of the zeitgeist-capturing femme fatale he must have intended. Another night possessed by bad politics.
Another empty con job from Fincher that forces the audience to jump through some incredibly contrived hoops for the benefit of... that's it? Unlikable characters being unlikable for two hours with absolutely no pay off, critique, message or summation. I did like Kim Dickens playing Holly Hunter playing the detective & Tyler Perry playing Morgan Freeman playing the lawyer, but otherwise it's just more IKEA-nihilism.
Fincher crafts another dark, satiric thriller that lands strong. The score floats us through what feels like a sick dream effortlessly. Violence is just a symptom of staying in the spotlight and we are all indicted for perpetuating the media circus.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Despite feeling like an overstuffed version of a Law and Order episode at times, Gone Girl is good stuff. The cast is great, the direction superb and score brilliant. The setup was solid and the last half hour completely blindsided me. I loved the satirical angle despite it nauseating me, but steeping in Reznor and Ross' score during the credits after that ending is what I'll remember most...
Pleasantly surprised by this stylish and mysterious thriller. Though it partially explores emasculation and the idea that all girls are not good little angels, that can easily fall by the wayside and it stands on its own as a superbly directed, masterfully photographed, perfectly scored mystery. Simultaneously feels ultra-modern and very classic, vintage even, in its tension. Plus, there's that haunting ending.
There are several plot holes that I couldn't get past. The whole movie takes a bit too much suspension of disbelief for my taste, really.
I did appreciate the take on the importance and influence of the mass media over the public opinion.