Gone Girl is the adaptation of the thrilling and bestselling novel of the same name from writer Gillian Flynn, who also compiled the screenplay. Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, and directed by one of the kings of thrillers, David Fincher, it tells the story of an American sweetheart in a tense marriage who goes missing mysteriously, the finger being pointed at her husband and the twists and turns that reveal what really happened to ‘Amazing’ Amy Dunne.
Rosamund Pike gained an Oscar nod for her role in Gone Girl and it’s not hard to see why – she’s definitely the best part of the film, playing a well constructed cool girl with subtlety, and putting her low soothing voice and captivating face to good use with a character who is so constantly difficult to read. Affleck isn’t as strong, admittedly, but does kind of make a good ‘guy you love to hate’, and someone you can imagine being a less than ideal husband.
It’s hard to talk about Gone Girl without revealing ANY spoilers – although don’t worry, we won’t – because the twists, turns and surprises come thick and fast. That’s thanks to the quality of Flynn’s original story, but how well they translate to film is up for debate.
Gone Girl undoubtedly shows it’s biggest cards around halfway through the film, which can only result in loss of tension, but does take us on an enjoyable journey to figure out the rest of story. And, despite this early reveal, there’s enough surprises to keep you going until the end and maintain a fairly good level of intrigue. That being said, the plot does get increasingly unbelievable as the film progresses – although we’re often not looking for realism in the cinema screen, are we?
There’s definitely the makings of a strong thriller; a general feeling of darkness, slick movement through the story and episodic use of black to move us from one scene to the next all make for the quality direction from Fincher that we would expect, but there’s nothing standout about the look and feel of the film because it’s really all about the punches of the plot.
Amy (Pike) and Nick’s (Affleck) marriage can also present a pretty bleak version of matrimony, with the core of what makes a marriage and how each person compromises for (and battles against) the other being a theme that runs through the whole film. Understanding the nuances of each character’s motivation to act the way they do can be tricky to get first time round – it took us a second watch to ‘get’ and enjoy the film a bit more clearly.
We reckon that Gone Girl is a solid thriller, giving you strong performances and the plot twists you’re looking for from this type of movie – but we can’t help feeling that the way the revelations are presented to the viewer ends up in a bit of dissonance when it comes to the tension and build up of the story. 3 stars from us.
Get a taste of the film by watching the trailer below. How many stars would you give Gone Girl?