Author’s Note: This review is a little delayed and shorter than my usual written reviews because of my chronic illnesses that have been affecting my health very badly.
So much has already been said about GONE GIRL since it’s release last week. Critics have been praising it and much has been discussed from people who have read the book and those who haven’t. Personally I did read the book earlier this year, as word about the film was intriguing and the basic storyline seemed like something right up my alley. The book was addictive reading, and I was immersed in this world of Nick and Amy. Gillian Flynn did a fantastic job with the book, and I can’t wait to read her other works. She was a natural choice to adapt her book into a screenplay, she does know the story and characters the best. Having David Fincher in the director’s seat feels natural, this in a way felt right for him (and I especially felt faith in him after reading the book). So for me how did the film pan out? Read on …
The story here is about Nick and Amy, the picture perfect couple played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary Amy disappears, with foul play suspected. Nick quickly becomes a suspect, and as the pieces to this puzzle begin to unravel, both Nick and Amy have a slew of secrets …
The story at its heart is not a ‘who done it’, you find out what happened to Amy half way through. It is about the two characters of Nick and Amy. Who they really are versus who they project to be. Nick is not the fantastic husband he wants to be seen as and Amy is not the all American blonde bombshell. They are both highly layered characters, and they are not two people that you seen to chose who you are with. They are both flawed people, Nick doing things that are not what a nice guy does and Amy’s own mental health is certainly questioned and left to ponder spoiler alert for the audience until she come to realise she is really a sociopath end spoiler.
The casting here really is spot on, Ben Affleck really is perfect as Nick. On the outside he has that all American look, he looks and feels like a good person. But as the layers come away things change and Affleck goes with the flow and he makes Nick feel like a fully fleshed out character. Rosamund Pike I had trouble imagining as Amy, yet the second she was on screen, she became Amy. Her look was right, and she portrayed each level of Amy with such power, when she is on screen you can’t look away. The film is about these two characters and they nailed it. The supporting cast are all fantastic, and each person played their role to a T. Surprising to see Tyler Perry here, as he was not at all what I pictured for the character, but he got it right and proved he should be doing these roles and not Madea. Neil Patrick Harris is not who I pictured for his character either, but he really disappeared into the role, and thoughts of Barney Stinson or Doogie Howser were forgotten. Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens blew me away, both giving great performances and fitting their characters really well. They were exactly how I pictured the characters and Coon especially had the perfect chemistry with Affleck.
Every person has their secrets, and no marriage is picture perfect. This is a big part of the story that is really being told, spoiler alert and these two characters who do horrible things to each other are each in their own personal hell and end up where they deserve end spoiler. The audience is along for this ride, seeing things unfold and wonder how things ended up this way. The third act as it is with the book is shocking and it is something that will cause discussion. I have seen and heard people claim they hate it, and I too did not like it when I first read the book. But upon thinking about it, I realised I loved the ending and it did fit with this world Flynn created for these characters. It is meant to make you feel a certain way, and leave you thinking. You aren’t supposed to pick a side in the end, it isn’t meant to feel 100% realistic, it is darkly funny film about two characters who aren’t to be liked.
This is easily one of my favourite films of the year.