Gone Girl: Contemporary Noir Classic

Gone-Girl

My husband and I saw this film recently on  Sunday matinee in a mostly empty theatre. I was really curious about this film, having bought and read the hardcover book it was based on about 2 years ago. I encouraged my husband to read it to and it piqued his curiosity too. I usually don’t watch films based on books that I enjoyed, but I made an exception this time because I was super curious about how one would adapt a twisted tale told from different points of view while incorporating a non-linear timeline. Kudos to director David Fincher and to author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn; they pulled it off masterfully.

 

 

On the 5th anniversary of his wedding, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing amid signs of a struggle. So begins the chilling exploration of a dysfunctional couple. Deftly woven with scenes of the investigation and the aftermath of Amy’s disappearance are scenes where we learn about Nick and Amy’s early years together via Amy’s diary and flashbacks.

The plot twists are well placed and to divulge more would venture into spoiler territory. Even clocking in at 2.5 hours, the movie is well-paced and passed “Ann’s watch test.” This is despite knowing what was going to happen next because the adaptation was faithful to the source material.

The acting, directing, writing and cinematography were superb. I appreciated the absurdist dark humour enough to laugh out loud a few times (I think my husband’s laughter was the only one joining in). This humour was often delivered by Nick’s twin sister and closest confidant Margo, portrayed by a scene-stealing Carrie Coon. In addition to a dark clever suspenseful haunting mystery, this film also has threads of social commentary on mass media and feminism. It leaves one wondering about the leap of faith that any relationship must be. How well do we really know those close to us?

My only complaint about this film is that it would have been more of a thrill if I hadn’t read the book. However, I really enjoyed reading the book. Reading novels is a rare pleasure as I get older and I wouldn’t have traded it. It led me to read Gillian Flynn’s other novels, “Dark Places” and “Sharp Objects”, which were also quite good. If you like dark twisted tales, that is.

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