As a lover of both literature and film, I’ve always been drawn to novels that have or will be adapted for the big screen. When I heard Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was being adapted, I picked it up and devoured it almost immediately. I was hooked on the lives of Amy and Nick Dunne and their crushingly tragic ending. I couldn’t wait until they released the film. The movie absolutely lived up to the hype of the novel.
Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay, introduces you into the whirlwind relationship of the Dunnes. Successful careers in New York, a brownstone, and a winning marriage. In a brief period of time everything is taken away – the recession takes their jobs. Amy’s parents, creators of the “Amazing Amy” children’s book series, borrow nearly the entirety of her trust fund due to bad investments. And then fate steals them away to Nick’s home in Missouri to take care of his ailing mother.
Unsurprisingly, Nick loses his mother and with the last of Amy’s money opens a bar with his twin sister, Margo, affectionately called “Go.” On the morning of his 5th wedding anniversary, 2 years in Missouri, Amy disappears. This is where Nick begins to unravel as Amy’s story takes center stage.
Director David Fincher and Flynn weave together a brilliant and sinister murder mystery trimming the chafe from an already brilliant book. It sharply cuts to the point while maintain the mystery for those unfamiliar with the source material. Fincher has brought us an experience equivalent to his earlier work with “Fight Club”.
Supporting characters Margo Dunne (Carrie Coon), Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) and Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) gave life beyond their lines creating and maintaining the uncertain grey-tone of the film. Never right or wrong, good or bad, they guide you effortlessly throughout.
Ben Affleck, playing our titular Nick Dunne, gave a performance between “Good Will Hunting” and “Argo”. Both were previously outstanding performances but he remains forgettable in “Gone Girl” delivering a good performance, but not great. Nick only really comes alive near the end of the second act when on his knees, fighting for his life.
Rosamund Pike, as our beloved Amy Dunne, does what she does best and outshines those around her. A veteran English actress Pike has only recently been breaking from the supporting cast to take her talents to a starring role here in the states. Her familiar, but not always identifiable, face as an actress works in her favor as Amy. The inspiration of a beloved children’s series Amy would have carried around the stigma of observation of, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”. Pike will surprise you in the unexpected way of consistently being amazing.
Complimented by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s haunting score “Gone Girl” delivers.