Wednesday 1 October 2014

Gone Girl Review

One thing that is most imperative about reading anything about director David Fincher's new film Gone Girl is that one needs to avoid all forms of spoilers. So this review will strive to do the same while suggesting that if anyone attempts to tell you anything about the plot of the film, to firmly place one's fingers in one's ears and run swiftly away. Adapted from her novel of the same name, Gillian Flynn's script requires the full two hours and twenty nine minutes running time to tease out the relationship and stories that emanate from Gone Girl.

When Nick Dunne's (Ben Affleck) beautiful blonde Ivy League wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing, a media wave and then storm springs up around the story. Police are involved with suspicions raised as literal clues in envelopes turn up for Nick to solve. As the case progresses who Nick and Amy are is thrashed out via prime time seeking media shows and in the hearts and minds of the TV watching public.

The cast is most impressive with Rosamund Pike giving a performance that perhaps, finally lets her talents shine through on screen. Affleck as the charming every man walks that fine line of the possible hero/anti-hero while delivering the most enjoyable dark humour lines that delightfully pepper the film. The stories told between men and women is a central theme in the film. Though there are extremes and some might be prone to give a snap assessment of the film as being slightly misogynistic or anti-men, the main voices of reason are from women. Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) leads the investigation while Nick's twin sister Margot (Carrie Coon) confuse the stories swirling around the disappearance of Amy and we the audience have to consider what is truth and what is spin.

The nature of media ratings winners is also brought to the fore in a satisfying manner via the characters of Missi Pyle (Ellen Abbott) a conservative - Republican? - TV anchor fighting on the side of Amy while the casting of Affleck is shown to be spot on with the interview between Nick and the hard edged - Democrat? - Sharon Schieber (Sela Ward). Both Tyler Perry as lawyer Tanner Bolt and Neil Patrick Harris as Amy's high school boyfriend Desi Collings give performances that once again, play with the idea of story or truth telling to the public and to one's self.

Visually Gone Girl moves across the screen like a sleek expensive car with Fincher's continued preference for the use of torch light giving us hints and clues, being a well known aspect of his storytelling. Picture perfect materialism mergers and emerges with emotional stables as we sieve through the stories being presented to us from all angles and characters. 'Good' and 'Bad' are allowed to slide along a wider spectrum while all that glitters is not gold. Adult, violent, savvy and beautifully crafted, Gone Girl is certainly one of the films of the year.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Out in the UK on the 2nd of October.

Gone Girl. USA 2014. Directed by David Fincher. Starring Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry...

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