One of the scariest things in this world is the potential of a marriage to become a coma-induced nightmare; is there anything scarier? David Fincher has adapted Gillian Flynn’s novel, Gone Girl, into a film that delves deep into a crime mystery with answers that you wouldn’t expect. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike play Nick and Amy Dunne, a seemingly happily married couple thrust into a world of crime and media when Amy goes missing. Affleck and Pike are joined by a wonderful supporting cast, including Kim Dickens, Tyler Perry, and Neil Patrick Harris
The crime genre is Fincher’s comfort zone, but the main focus is of a marital relationship, and he succeeds in juggling the two. The script, also written by Flynn, is hilarious, smart, and darker than a black hole. It keeps the audience intrigued for its lengthy run time with its stabbing social commentary and sudden changes in direction, like a roller coaster where you don’t exactly know if the next turn could lead you off the rails. Yes, it’s a long movie, but you’re able to forgive the length because you do wish to keep unraveling the mystery. When you find out who’s behind the missing wife story, it delves deeper where most films would stop. Fincher keeps the film fresh with its humor, as well as he does with tense moments. His camera zooms in on Nick like a nosy neighbor, and portrays the hounds of journalists almost like zombies. His signature style is lacking, but he certainly makes up for it with substance. Of course, the film wouldn’t be as solid as it is without the right actors playing the parts.
Amy is a black widow in every sense of the metaphor, and Rosamund Pike plays her with an eerie ferociousness that makes her one of the most interesting film characters in a long time. Her voice is slightly off, as it’s a bit too perfect and somehow seductive, allowing the audience to get lost in the shuffle of thoughts as to who committed the crime, as she narrates. She’s convincing as a woman deeply in love, and does equally well as a psychotic wife that could be the devil’s right hand man. Pike goes through a variety of characters like a chameleon, coming into the mainstream spotlight with a bang like Edward Norton did in Primal Fear. If she doesn’t get nominated by the Academy, saying she was robbed of the nomination will be an understatement.
Affleck plays Nick Dunne, and he does very well at playing the everyday man trying to deal with an unordinary scenario. Nick can be easily sympathetic one moment and completely suspicious in the next; his smirk and calm demeanor are all too suspect, yet he is also convincing in his actions that he did not murder his own wife. Carrie Coon, who plays Nick’s sarcastic twin sister, is paired up nicely with Affleck, as she becomes this voice of reason outside of Nick’s head. Due to Fincher’s direction and Affleck’s fantastic performance, the audience is never quite sure what to think of Nick until we’re actually handed the answer. A worthy mention out of all the supporting talent is Kim Dickens, playing Detective Boney, as she perfectly plays an intelligent detective overshadowed by her male officers. Dickens is determined, and ring-savvy in the criminal world, but she’s held back by what’s between her legs.
Gone Girl depicts the media as a god that can be manipulated; Fincher’s depiction is exaggerated, but accurate in a sense that we are strung along by what we see on TV. It’s also a film that reminds us about how important we think appearance is, especially through a marriage; the lies turn into the truth and everything sinks into the hole. Gone Girl asks an important question: is there anything scarier than a nightmarish marriage? Yes, being defeated so badly that you must accept the nightmare.