It’s time for another D&D Mixed Review! This week myself (Derek) and Denis take a look at the newest David Fincher film, Gone Girl. As the gimmick goes we’ll be talking about the film is four different categories; PLOT, PERFORMANCES, PRODUCTION and OVERALL FILM QUALITY and give the film a score of SEE IN THEATRE, WAIT FOR RENTAL or PASS. So let’s find out just how likeable Ben Affleck could possibly be in Gone Girl. Also note NO SPOILERS in this review!
First here’s the basic plot;
Gone Girl follows Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), a former writer turned teacher and bar owner in Missouri. One day Nick returns home to find that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing and his house shows some signs of a struggle. After contacting the police a manhunt soon starts.
While Nick is seemingly clueless as to what happened to his wife, a series of bad circumstances lead the court of public opinion to turn and he’s soon made the prime suspect. As the film progresses Nick has to start defending himself and his actions as the evidence continues to point to him at every turn.
The story is the main sell for this film. While the concept seems like it could be ripped from a 24 hour news cycle, Gone Girl uses the idea of a missing wife and crafts a compelling film. Making it even better is the ever moving plot that’ll leave you thinking about alternate theories and even questioning if Nick is the real killer. It’s hard to go deeper without saying too much but this film is written well and uses the concept extremely well due in no small part due to the screen play written by the books author Gillian Flynn.
The great thing about the plot after seeing it’s trailer is that everything thats teased takes place within the first half hour. After that it takes several twists and turns all in service of exploring how a simple relationship between two can change into something so vial and violent. It’s one of those films that does the plot such justice that most people will seek out the book purely to experience it once more. I should also add that while the subject matter is dark, it does have this wonderful dark comedy embedded in it. Characters often comment on the absurdity of certain situations and keep you in the film, connecting you to the characters. The best example being the first scene between Afflecks character and his sister, I loved his sister.
You can have the best concept in the world but if you don’t have talent speaking the words it can all fall apart. The film features a great deal of solid performances from a number of different actors. Both Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike give a lot, adding more depth to the odd couples personal life and relationship. Also rounding out the film are the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry and Kim Dickens. Solid all around.
The central two roles played by Batfleck and Rosamund Pike are wonderfully deep characters, but like all of Finchers films no role is a small role. Everyone delivers on realizing their character so perfectly. As I said above, of all the secondary characters the sister character is wonderful and perfect. But like Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, the biggest standout is the lead female lead Rosamund Pike. She is amazing to watch and her narration lends perfectly to laying a strong tone throughout the film.
Seeing how this is a David Fincher film, the cinematography, editing and overall feel is excellent. The film has the overall creepy feel that most Fincher films have, as if the audience is almost a godly figure watching over the lives of our characters. The imagery is married well with the score from third time collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The music, is harsh, drowning and fits every moment of the film. In fact, it does it’s job so well its seemingly unnoticeable throughout parts of the film. If I had to give the film a knock it would be it’s length. Despite being around 2 and a half hours the film felt long near the end.
Fincher knows how to make a film. And everyone he includes from the editor to cinematographer to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provide him with the tools he uses to force his films. I didn’t have an issue with the length and kinda wish it went on a bit longer to be honest. So….yea. Next section.
If you’re new to David Fincher’s work, then this will be a great film it watch with an open mind. The story is deep and examines many theme’s ranging from the media’s reaction to large news stories, to lies we tell to get our way to even the effect of the economy on personal relationships. While it might have felt long, the writing, editing, score and performances make this one a must see film. SEE IN THEATRE.
Fincher knows how to find great material, with one exception. Gone Girl is amazing source material and Fincher lifts it up and perfectly transforms it into film. People will probably debate where this places in the long line of Finchers work but I don’t care, I like it and I say if you at all respect film as an artform support someone who is damn good at his job. And stop giving damn money to Michel Bay! SEE IN THEATRE
Gone Girl was produced by Regency Enterprises and Pacific Standard. The film is distributed by 20th Century Fox. Gone Girl is based upon a novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn.