Based on Gillian Flynn’s book, one of the most popular novels of the last decade, “Gone Girl” is now a major motion picture, released on Oct. 3, 2014, a haunting thriller that keeps audiences’ attention from beginning to end. Viewers will remain on the edge of their seats thanks to director David Fincher’s chilling interpretation of events. Blame is assigned, but “Gone Girl” is not a clear-cut suspense.
Told from two perspectives, “Gone Girl” covers the past in the form of Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) diary, starting when she meets her future husband, juxtaposed with Nick’s (Ben Affleck) experience of the present when Amy goes missing. As cops (Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit) uncover discrepancies in the crime scene and Nick’s version of events, friends and family search for Amy but level their own judgment; Amy’s parents (David Clennon and Lisa Banes) just want Amy back, Nick’s twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon) supports Nick, and Amy’s best friend (Casey Wilson) accuses Nick of the crime. After days have gone by, the public’s conclusions vary, led by TV hosts Ellen Abbott (Missi Pyle) and Sharon Schieber (Sela Ward). Meanwhile, Nick hires a lawyer (Tyler Perry) and begins investigating Amy’s exes (Neil Patrick Harris and Scoot McNairy).
Fans of the book should be satisfied by the adaptations minimal changes as Gillian Flynn provided the screenplay herself. The timeline of events is altered slightly with little details changing order, but the plot sticks to the book. The tone of Amy’s journal, though, is far less cute and girly as in the novel, but Fincher’s depiction heightens Amy’s fragility and makes her more real. This change suits Rosamund Pike’s terrific performance (can we all agree how AMAZING Pike is?).
Though the middle of the film reaches the conclusion of Amy’s diary, timed to coincide with a definitive answer of whether or not Nick is guilty, “Gone Girl” maintains curiosity throughout its entirety as guilt is in the eye of the beholder. What are Nick’s crimes? Can the viewer ever tell when he’s telling the truth? He’s an unsympathetic character, one of many in the film.
Over the years, Fincher’s films have had some memorable, horrific scenes, but a scene from “Gone Girl” tops the list. This especially gruesome scene challenges even his version of twisted “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and his classic serial killer tale, “Seven,” for most shocking. In short, no one does murderous and grisly like David Fincher.
Rating for “Gone Girl:” A-
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
“Gone Girl” is playing almost everywhere in Columbus, including Studio 35 and AMC Lennox and Easton. For showtimes, click here.