AN EMPIRE OF WORDS

Gone Girl (2014)

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Wow.

Simply wow.

The difficulty about writing about this film is I’d have to be careful on what I say, considering that it might spoil the plot. Which is the last thing I would like to after a fantastic all round display from David Fincher. Everyone I have spoken to about Gone Girl have hailed and stated that it’s simply brilliant. David Fincher adapting the novel written by Gillian Flynn and the result is this extraordinary story with fantastic displays of acting from the whole cast. Not forgetting the harrowing story that is full of twists and turns in the quiet hometown of Missouri-born Nick Dunne, where the series of events takes place.

If you’ve been living under a rock anyway, Gone Girl features Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, who wakes up on his fifth anniversary with his wife stating asking what she’s thinking and he’s like to crack open her skull. Not painting an excellent picture, is it? He comes back home (after heading to work) to find his wife, Amy Elliot Dunne (Rosamund Pike) missing.

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After this unfolds, the media becomes a big part in storyline, with the constant media attention that surround Nick and eventually his twin sister, Margot. The constant snide comments that come from the Ellen Abbot show too, claiming he is a murderer and a scoundrel.

It’s quite hard to make talk about this film without making this post spoilerific. Amazing Amy as she is always referred to, due to a series of popular children’s books created by her parents, goes missing within the first ten minutes of the film. The next half is Nick fighting with the police, the media and himself about the disappearance of his wife. This is about as far as I can go into the story without major spoilers.

I began reading the book in anticipation and of course with all adaptations there are minute differences from what I read compared to what was on screen, but it’s from what I read to what I saw it all transferred decently.

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Okay, they’ll be some spoilers here, not crucial to the plot however.

The best part about the film, was the solid acting from both Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. From their loving relationship in the flashback scenes, to Ben Affleck’s villainous chin and eventually to the unsettling nature that becomes of them once the story unfolds. It’s also the separate stories that unfold, at some points I believe people believed Ben Affleck was the reason she has gone missing, with his mysteriousness and unknowing facts about his wife.

I think the genius of David Fincher comes from the trailers that he made for this film. Being careful to include sections that don’t give away the key points, which lets face it, happens in an abundance of film trailers nowadays. However, one big criticism that I have heard often comes with the ending and that Fincher offers no real resolution to what happens, and with that, you’d have to look at Fincher’s previous works including Zodiac, Fight Club and Se7en (with what happens to Mills). It’s not uncommon for Fincher to choose films that leave the audience hanging and begging for more.

The film itself stands at an average 2 hours and 30 minutes, but because of the compelling story you don’t feel the length in time. The story kept me fixed to the seat and was surprised when it found out the length of the film. Fincher has produced a fine movie, which is close to a perfect film. The acting is amongst the best I’ve seen for a while, coupled with the compelling storyline, but it’s also the transition periods where the story may drag, the audience is still guessing what will happen next and compelled to continue watching.

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A truly fine piece of work and as I mentioned, I couldn’t believe it when I watching it. It truly my film of 2014 as it stands. With the focal point not being Ben Affleck’s Nick Dunne, but Rosamund Pike’s Amy Dunne, who was unreal. Alas, I don’t want to spoil it for you. I also thought David Fincher shot some beautiful scenes, such as the first kiss between Nick and Amy was translated beautifully from book to film. (Like the picture above, however the picture does not do the scene justice.)

I know this review is a bit late, however, I know select cinemas are still showing it and my one recommendation would be to see this film now, before you have to wait for the DVD release. It’s unreal.

5/5

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Author: Nathan Harris

Currently studying Film & Television studies and Media Writing at Derby University. Hopefully wanting to become a film critic/journalist.

8 thoughts on “Gone Girl (2014)

  1. I loved this movie. The leads were amazing. I saw Interstellar soon after I saw Gone Girl. They’re around the same length but Gone Girl felt very short and Interstellar felt incredibly long. I loved both of movies but found Gone Girl to be much more suspenseful. Great review!

  2. Totally agree with everything you said! The film was absolutely thrilling to watch start to finish!

  3. Pingback: gone girl | Rhetoric 102, Spring 2015

  4. I have to agree. Such a amazing movie. And have really grown to like Ben as an actor. I haven’t read the book but plan on reading it. I just finished reading Gillian Flynn book, dark places. I don’t have cable, but have heard that this is currently being made into a movie with Charlize Theron. Who I find would be also perfect for the role.

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