So, who else is getting tired of me writing about baseball? I sure as hell am! Let’s just sit back, relax and settle down to watch a nice popcorn flick. Let’s see what’s in theatre right now…
Directed by: David Fincher
Produced by: Leslie Dixon, Bruna Papandrea, Reese Witherspoon, Ceán Chaffin
Screenplay by: Gillian Flynn
Based on: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Casey Wilson, Missi Pyle
Music by: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Plot: In a sleepy town in Missouri known as North Carthage live former writer and current barkeep Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife, Amy Elliott-Dunne (Rosamund Pike), another former writer and, weirdly enough, the inspiration for a series of children’s books known as “Amazing Amy”, written by her parents. They are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, but unfortunately, it isn’t quite being celebrated under the best of circumstances, as they have grown distant from one another, ruining what used to be quite a lovely marriage. On the morning of, Nick returns from the bar he co-owns with his sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), to find that his wife is missing from his house with no prior warning, and there are signs of a struggle in the living room. Understandably, he freaks the fuck out and calls the cops, and the whole community rallies behind him.
However, things are shaken up a bit when Nick’s facade of being the perfect, worried husband starts to slip and what was once perceived as being a shy, awkward, kind person starts to look more and more like an angry, remorseless sociopath. It doesn’t help his case much when evidence gathered by the police starts to shift the blame in his direction, and even less so when the media jumps all over his case, all but screaming for the governor’s office to fry this man for murder. Did Nick Dunne kidnap, or even murder his wife? Or is there another explanation?
Weirdly enough, the first people that I want to praise for this movie are not the actors, director or writer, but the marketing team. Whoever green-lighted the decision to only use scenes from the first third of the movie or so in the trailers for the film. I was completely oblivious to the whopper of a twist that was to come, and for that, I thank them.
Before I get into some of the numerous stuff I really loved from this movie, I’ve gotta get the one thing I didn’t like in the movie out of the way, so here goes: I thought some of the dialogue from when Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike’s characters were meeting for the first time was kind of annoyingly pretentious.
Well, now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for me to voraciously kiss this movie’s ass.
Holy crap, was this movie ever the definition of perfectly cast. I heard that some people, mostly fans of the novel that the movie is based on, were bitching about Ben Affleck being cast in the main role. I, personally, have been a huge Affleck supporter ever since he came back onto he scene in a big way with The Town, and I was one of what seemed to be the few people who weren’t losing their minds over him being cast as you-know-who.
Well, it puts my ever-worrying mind somewhat at ease to know that Ben Affleck absolutely brings it to this movie. His character is not always shown doing the nicest things on-screen. In fact, I probably should have hated him at one point, but throughout the whole movie, he displays a type of charm that makes Nick Dunne irresistibly likable. He’s a nice guy (Or he seems to be), but he also most certainly is not a perfect person., rather a very complicated human being who’s dealing with a lot of crap, some of it it brought on by himself.
Affleck’s co-star, Rosamund Pike is…Well…..I don’t know if I can say too much about her or her character without spoiling the movie, but I will say that she is fantastic. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that she delivers one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. No joke.
The supporting cast is perfect as well. Carrie Coon (From The Leftovers) is funny at times and has some good lines. Neil Patrick Harris is very good as a slightly unhinged ex-boyfriend of Rosamund Pike’s. Tyler Perry is also in this movie, in his second appearance in a movie not directed by him since his cameo in the 2009 Star Trek movie (His first was 2012’s Alex Cross, and the less said about that, the better). I’ve never been a Tyler Perry fan, not because I don’t like the guy, because he seems nice enough. I just find Madea unfunny, the Madea character insufferable, and religious movies in general to be incredibly preachy, bad pun intended. Eh, different strokes for different folks, I suppose.
But hey, Tyler Perry was excellent as well as Nick’s somewhat morally ambiguous defense attorney. The dude can act! Now, Hollywood just needs to get him into some better movies and the world may soon forget…Well, anything that wasn’t Precious, Star Trek and Gone Girl.
Much praise is deserved by the director as well. David Fincher, director of such masterpieces as Se7en, Zodiac, Fight Club, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network (As well as the hunk of shit that was Alien 3) and probably one of the best directors working in Hollywood today, really, creates a very dark, unsettling nature in direct contrast to the idyllic suburban setting of the story. It also helps that he brought his frequent collaborators, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Who had previously done the soundtracks to The Social Network and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), along to do the music, which is, in a word, eerie. Eerie, eerie eerie. Electronic buzzes and drones aren’t that much fun to listen to on their own, but holy shit, did they ever provide the perfect atmosphere in this movie. If this movie isn’t at least nominated for a “Best Original Score” prize at the Oscars, I will be very, very angry.
Kudos to writer Gillian Flynn as well. It’s not very often you see the author of the source material write the screenplay for the script. The only author I can think of who really makes a point to write the movie adaptations of his work is Frank Miller, and everything he’s done that isn’t 300 or Sin City is utter shit. Flynn, on the other hand, writes a pretty fantastic script, aside from the minor gripes I mentioned in the beginning. She also does a really good job of incorporating elements of black comedy into the movie, which was a pleasing surprise.
Overall: Sure, it’s a long movie, clocking in at over 140 minutes, but it’s such a wild ride that you don’t care. If you don’t have a weak stomach, this is a must-see movie. I sure as hell loved it.