Gone Girl (2014) film review
Running Time: 149 minutes
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Gillian Flynn (book and screenplay)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit
Gone Girl is now showing in cinemas everywhere and is distributed in Australia by Twentieth Century Fox.
A book shouldn’t be made into a film unless it really has something to gain from it. Unfortunately in most cases with highly successful books, this gain and the driving reason behind the adaptation seems to be money. However, Gone Girl truly has gained from being made into a movie, especially in the hands of David Fincher. Based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay), the neo-noir film unsettles and thrills with its combination of suspense and depth. With incredibly strong and memorable performances by all the cast, Gone Girl proves that unlike so many others, it belongs off the book page and on the screen.
On the morning of their anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find that his wife of five years, Amy (Rosamund Pike) has disappeared in what appears to be a violent kidnapping. As the search for Amy begins, Nick finds himself at the centre of the investigation as all the evidence starts to point to him when the cracks in his marriage start to be seen by the world and he becomes the lead suspect in his wife’s disappearance and assumed murder.
Fincher’s Gone Girl does exactly what book to film adaptations should do and that is to recognize and act upon what cinema can do to enhance the story. As a book, “Gone Girl” continues to attract a large readership and among it are admirers and cynics of Flynn’s work. However, the film will impress and entertain even those amongst the cynics. The screenplay stays true to the book for the most part which means that the ending, which is the main cause for complaint of many, is present in the film. This is evidently what many will profess to dislike about the film, but the way in which Fincher has dealt with and fleshed out the material which has been given to him is testimony to his brilliance as a film maker. It is not often one says that a book works better on screen than it does on paper, but the unmistakable style of Fincher is perfect for Flynn’s story and brings out it’s true suspenseful and unsettling nature in spectacular style.
For those who have not read the book, Gone Girl is completely unpredictable and suspenseful. Yet, those who have read the book will be astonished at the suspense they feel while watching and knowing what is to come. While most of the suspense is in the story, it is assisted in spectacular fashion by the incredibly haunting music provided by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and gorgeous use of cinematography. Fincher shows the characters from such interesting and beautiful camera angles which allow a different story to be told through the camera lens. The final music piece of the film which plays through the last scene and into the credits is beautifully unsettling and this is the feeling that resonates after leaving the film.