75%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
77%

Till Death Do Us Part

 

Gone Girl is a film that draws you in with a combination of alluring trailers and the ever appealing question in film: who done it? From the moment you take your seat, you assume that, while you are not certain what this film will deliver, you are sure that you want to see it. This film twists and turns with the perfect blend of suspense and intelligence. There is an appeal to the deceit that is explained by brilliant film making and bone chilling performances. The shifts in perspective present a delivery that is not seen often, and more importantly, is rarely this well done. Countless times, you will find you jaw on the floor trying to comprehend the human behavior necessary for such actions, as well as covering you mouth in utter disbelief at what your eyes are beholding.

 

From the start, we are presented with Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), a seemingly loving husband who has the perfect life and the perfect wife. Before we discover the true inner turmoil between he and his spouse, he finds the scene of a struggle in his living room, and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) nowhere to be found. This of course stirs the obvious question: did Nick have something to do with this? The delivery of the story is phenomenal as we learn of the true nature of this couple’s relationship through Amy’s narrated reading of journal entries. Their marriage is far from perfect, as both have grown far from their fairytale beginning.

 

After the discovery of blood through the house suggests a struggle, the police are forced to suspect a homicide. Nick does not radiate the behavior of a man whose wife may have been murdered. His dead pan reactions and lack of empathy beg to convince anyone worth paying attention that maybe this man has murdered his wife in cold blood. Affleck’s delivery is some of his best work. Straying impossibly far from his comfort zone, Affleck explodes Nick Dunne’s chilling personality to life. We are left scratching our heads throughout the film, our minds racing with a number of questions that simply don’t have a confident answer. Who do we believe? Did Nick kill his wife? Can we believe the things that have been written in Amy’s journal? The amount of times loyalties change hands is matched with the amount of times we are shocked with the levels of betrayal.

 

The biggest fear that loomed over this film from the first preview anyone viewed, is that it would inevitably fall into the cliché of the genre. Gone Girl not only avoids them, but also provides moments of genuine shock. The stealing performance of the film belongs to Rosamund Pike. Amy’s actions and behavior fall nothing short of diabolical. When the audience thinks she has no surprises left in her, she delivers more and more moments of eye widening treachery. As we follow the story of Amy through a series of diary entries and flashbacks, we get a feel for the type of person that she is. Her transformation is devilishly amazing. She transitions from the hero to the villain time and time again, each moment more shocking that the one before it.

 

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Delivering the heaviest dose in this film is the microscope drawn on baited social behavior. We are provided with what is to be expected from the citizens of a small town that is dealing with the issues of a potential spousal homicide. The stereotypical views of masculinity and femininity explode on the screen in moments of support and rejection. These examinations of human behavior are crucial in how often Gone Girl performs its escaping act. It draws us in, making us think we know what is happening, and it abruptly changes gears, keeping us on our toes throughout.

 

Quality support is provided by Nick’s sister, Margo (Carrie Coon); the lead detective, Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens); and Nick’s Lawyer, Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry). Margo embodies, brilliantly, the emotional toll that unquestionably falls on the shoulders of a loving sibling jettisoned into a tumultuous situation of this nature. Margo struggles with her moral compass with Nick’s situation. The question of whether to believe him or not is potentially outweighed with the brutal reality of whether that even makes a difference. The deep seeded love of family may just be enough to overlook murder. Detective Boney is the perfect balance of good cop bad cop. As a woman, she masterfully holds back from wanting to attack Nick on her suspicions of his misogynistic behavior, as her inner cop is intrigued by the suspicions that riddle this situation. Tyler Perry has been consistently attempting to show further range than an elderly woman in a fat suit, and this is by far his best effort. Tanner Bolt is the defense attorney that we can’t help but compare to Johnny Cochran. Even this cold blooded defense attorney cannot help but be shaken by the magnitude of this case.

 

Gone Girl is a casually paced chess match that unexpectedly keeps us on the edge of our seats with suspense. It has the inexplicable appeal to its methodical and thorough story. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross make this film reverberate with the eerie and compelling score, proving they have officially become the new masters of the craft. Fincher has made it abundantly clear he cannot miss as he continues to produce some of the best quality films of the year time and time again. The delivery of the exchanging perspectives and loyalties is as fresh as it is compelling. A plethora of quality performances all around make this sick and twisted thriller a must see film that will leave you walking out of the theater with goose bumps on your arms.

About The Author

Contributing Writer

Dan graduated from Babson College with a BS in Marketing and Business Management. Since graduating from college, he has moved to Los Angeles where he works as a writer and actor. Dan is working on numerous screen plays and shorts for both TV and film. Some of my work can be seen on Funny Or Die.