By Austin Siscoe, Film Critic
In Gone Girl, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find that his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has disappeared from their home alongside the house being trashed. From there the story quickly unfolds and exposes several flaws in the Dunne’s marriage and takes quite a few large twists that make this movie worth seeing for its tricky plot alone.
The film itself is a thorough examination of love, and also the challenges of uncertainty and struggle within marriage. Alongside that is an underlying commentary on media exploitation and how it affects people’s perceptions of people and how controlling it is.
First point to be made clear is Gone Girl is directed by David Fincher. Fincher is no stranger to this kind of material having previous films include Social Network, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Zodiac. Comparably this film seems to be similarly styled to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Zodiac. Dialogue that comes quickly and demands focus, long drawn out intensity that makes the heart stop, and moments of unseen and unforgiving violence that make Saw look minimal. That being said, Gone Girl is not a film for everyone, especially the weak stomached. It’s a reserved film that focuses on characters over action but in moments of violence, it holds nothing back.
Affleck is excellent in the role of Nick. He perfectly balances the suspicion and empathy to make you love the character, then hate him, then be conflicted by the end. The character is relaxed but tempered, he could be a victim or a total sociopath and Affleck elevates this through his performance.
Rosamund Pike is spot on as Amy. She provides a unique and unyielding exploration the severely damaged character of Amy. Tyler Perry and Carrie Coon also deliver in their roles as Nick’s attorney and twin-sister, respectively.
Neil Patrick Harris also shows up and gets to perform against his standard TV comedy role as Desi Collings, Amy’s former boyfriend who is quite obsessive. While Harris does fit into the character and play him on point, its a little weird seeming him playing against his usual role and makes the presence seem a little off.
Gone Girl is another remarkable David Fincher cinematic experience. The filmmaker holds little back, embracing the downright ugly side of love for a truly memorable movie viewing. It’s definitely not a typical straightforward who done it mystery, but rather a deep character study alongside a disappearance story. It never settles for cheap thrills and focuses on building up tension and then unleashing it in a craze of violent fury. Its intense, polarizing, and must been seen at least once.
4 ½ out of 5