With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.
David Fincher is one of my favourite directors and pulpy crime stories with a dark underbelly have been his forte for some time now, which is why he was the perfect choice to direct ‘Gone Girl‘, Gillian Flynn’s twisted tale of a missing woman and the husband accused of her murder. ‘Gone Girl’ is an outstanding piece of cinema, an astonishing thriller that has the audience firmly in its grasp from the very beginning, tightening as the plot thickens and never letting go. The film picks up with Nick Dunn (Ben Affleck) on the morning of his wife, Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) disappearance, and tells parallel tales in the present (focusing on the investigation into the disappearance and possible murder) and the past (focusing on how Nick and Amy met, and how their marriage began to fall apart). One of David Fincher’s main strengths as a director is his swift editing style (his finest example being the Aaron Sorkin scripted ‘The Social Network‘), and it serves the story well here as we effortlessly move from past to present, from husband to wife, as the story takes many twists and turns in the hunt for the truth.
Needless to say going too far into the film’s plot would spoil the many enjoyable twists and turns, but I’ll briefly comment on one crucial sequence around the film’s midsection which is the most thrilling piece of cinema I’ve seen in some time, and completely sells the hell out of the direction the film is moving in. There’s a lot of factors that come together to make this one of 2014’s finest movies, beginning with the excellent performances from the central duo and the rest of the supporting cast. Ben Affleck is superb as the accused husband and keeps us guessing as to his true involvement throughout, whilst the main support from Carrie Coon (recently seen in HBO’s The Leftovers) as Nick’s sister, Tyler Perry as a charismatic attorney and Neil Patrick Harris as a creepy ex are terrific, despite not being the names readers would immediately associate with the characters. That leaves out the star of the show in Rosamund Pike, who’s depiction of Amy is absolutely flawless, in a performance that deserves to be remembered as we approach the awards season. The stars of the show aren’t just on the screen, with Trent Reznor and Atticus Finch (in their third collaboration in a row with Fincher) creating an excellent and evocative soundtrack that builds and enhances the mood and the tone of the film.
‘Gone Girl‘ clocks in at 149 minutes, yet it seemed to fly past, reminding me of the late, great Roger Ebert’s terrific quote “No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough”. ‘Gone Girl‘ is not just a good movie, it is a great movie, and it deserves your time.
Directed By: David Fincher
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Missi Pyle, Emily Ratajkowski, Casey Wilson, Sela Ward, Scoot McNairy, Boyd Holbrook, Lola Kirke, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Lisa Banes and David Clennon