Let’s start here, I did not read the book but anything with David Fincher’s name on it, I will see. I went into Gone Girl only with the teased information disclosed by the trailer — Ben Affleck kills his wife and the media hates him. No opinion about this film is based off of my own thought process of how I thought the film should have been by how I personally interpreted the book. Have you ever read a book and then hated the adapted film version of said book? It happens a lot, everyone reads the same book but each person perceives it in their own way, something impossible for any director to replicate. Personally, I don’t waste my time reading fiction — although I should more — it’s just easier to wait for someone to turn it into a movie for me. And damn, was I glad I did not read the book before seeing this movie.
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), are about to celebrate their fifth anniversary. The tale of their night that lead to their relationship started years ago while in New York City, fast forwarded to the future, they find themselves living as portraits of the rotten couples they swore to never become. On their anniversary, Nick comes home to find a flipped and shattered coffee table and Amy is no where to be found. As the investigation gets underway, new evidence suggests she was murdered and the tabloid media paints a picture for who they want you to believe Nick is, the murderer of his beautiful helpless wife.
Did you know the film was going to be close to three hours long? Unlike me, you can be prepared for that as I’ve just told you. That run time played a significant part in my movie going experience as I watched the first half of the film thinking we were approaching the end, only to find out that the movie has really just begun. Do not fear, I will divulge no spoilers as to if Nick actually killed his wife. The midway point of the film shifts gears in a dark and unforeseen direction changing the tone of the script from just a typical murder mystery into an intelligent psychological thriller. Already knowing the plot twist from the book would have ruined my experience.
If you’re truly interested in seeing this film, put your cell phone in airplane mode and pay attention. The film follows a few different parallel time progressions, almost in the same way as the relationship between Peter and Sarah is told in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. If you’re face is buried in your phone texting and surfing the internetz, you’ll be one of those people who walk out saying, “that movie sucked!”
Ben Affleck plays a character you spend the first half of the film trying to figure out. Am I supposed to hate this guy? You want to hate him, you want to believe he is the killer, all signs point to that being the case. That is sort of the way Ben Affleck is in real life, people love to hate him but for no valid points. I am one of the few who supports Zack Snyder’s Batfleck decision and stand strong behind it, as well as him being cast for this film. Both Nick and Amy are hard characters to understand but that’s what makes the movie what it is. It’s not a necessarily a murder mystery but instead the behind-the-scenes account of a nationally televised missing persons case.
Neil Patrick Harris has a role but his character is really not seen until the 2nd half of the movie. No matter what he plays, even as Barney Stinson, I cannot believe an famously gay actor playing a role where they have a creepy attraction towards a female lead. That would be like Ellen Degeneres playing the role of Anastasia in the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Bonus for all, Emily Ratajkowski unleashes the warlocks for your viewing pleasure. So even if you hate the movie, you will at least enjoy that.
I know people will hate how the movie ends as it is abrupt, but, when you look back at the entire film, it’s actually bittersweet. Again, if you see this, be ready for the long haul. Just know, it’s worth it.
By: Pat Hanavan