Deckard🥃’s review published on Letterboxd:
"I'm so sick of being picked apart by women."
This review reportedly contains spoilers.
Prior to seeing this film, almost two to three months in advance, I was preparing myself for the film by reading the novel by Gillian Flynn, who also happens to be the screenwriter. I rarely do this, and if I do, I usually do it after the film adaption has come out. Anyways, I wasn't a fan of the novel, I didn't really find it entirely engaging, and I thought it was tedious to get through and I didn't like the narrative structure of the novel. I then held off on seeing the film adaption because for me, what's the point in seeing it, especially if I didn't like the book? Well, there's a great point. In a surprising turn of events, Gone Girl has completely surprised me in pretty much ways I cannot even speak of.
Based on the novel, Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot Dunne (Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, respectively) are happily married. Nick is a former journalist who loses his job due to the financial crisis of 2008, and him and his wife move to Nick's hometown of North Carthage, Missouri after his mother becomes ill. On the eve of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick gets a call from his neighbor and when he returns home, he find his wife missing, their cat wondering outside, blood spatters, and a broken glass table. Detectives Rhonda Boney and Jim Gilpin (Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit, respectively) are called to the scene and treat this as a missing persons case. However, not all seems right, as Nick begins lying and more clues unravel, and then we ask if Nick and Amy really were happily married.
I thought it would be impossible to enjoy a film adaption of a book that I didn't enjoy. Fifty pages into the book, and I already had a pretty damn good guess regarding what happened to Amy and what Nick is hiding. The more I read, the less surprising it became and the more tedious it became. Watching the film, it was like the opposite. Sure I knew everything going into this, but it was all done so eloquently. Flynn's screenplay is structured just like her novel, well for the most part. In the novel we get the usual introductory chapters and we don't really get to Amy going missing until around the thirty page mark. Here, it opens up almost immediately, and we find out more about Nick and Amy through flashbacks from Amy's diary.
The only thing that was really missing from Flynn's screenplay was little minor details, which I actually love, because it, for viewers who have not read the book, and hell for those who have, adds an ambiguous tone to the film. We know basic stuff about Nick and Amy and further go more into them from the diary flashbacks, but still, something seems incredibly off. Fincher plays off of this so fucking brilliantly. You know something is up, and Fincher takes the screenplay and twists it from a mystery, whodunit thriller, to practically a suspense film about the deceits of marriage. Leave it to David Fincher, a man I so very much admire, to make this film be much more engaging and interesting than Flynn's novel was. Fincher takes a novel centered around a broken marriage, and equally unlikable people, and a crazy ridiculous idea, and makes them work, much than the novel.
Nick and Amy were very much in love, but there's a part of Amy he didn't know. The fact that she's a very manipulative person and has a history of ruining other's lives and reputations (This is present if you read the book). She was practically born with the silver spoon in her hand, and the "Amazing Amy" books, only further attributes to her arrogance. She's a person you don't want to cross or upset. She's not a very nice person. We are also safe to assume that Nick is an honest guy, but alas, he isn't! His lies come out, including cheating on his wife with a younger woman and not being able to provide his wife with the life she truly wants.
She sets out to literally destroy his life because of this. Is it right? No. Is it wrong? Yes. Indeed, what Nick did was wrong, but can you really blame the guy? Cheating isn't the answer to your marriage problems. Sure it made him feel better, but it pretty much cemented him being in his own hell, and Amy was just going to further push him in. He used her, she used him. They're both equally bad people, and in the end, forced to live together, in their own hell that they have created for each other.
The acting here was absolutely outstanding, by far some of the best, and the one that really surprised me was Rosamud Pike. She's an actress I always thought had potential, but never really liked her in anything. Here, she's like two different people. In the diary flashbacks she's that sweet, perfect girl. When you find out her motives and how she just changes into a different person is absolutely terrifying and brilliant. Her cute smile, turns into a cold eyed, stone face psychopath, and Pike's acting is just outstanding.
Ben Affleck is also great here, playing what appears to be a great guy, but quickly fades into a smug, liar as more skeletons come out, Affleck fully embraces the role much like Pike. The rest of the acting is wonderful! Carrie Coon is great as Margo Dunne, Nick's sister, and Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris, two actors I'm not particularly fond of, turn in great performances, especially Perry.
Three straight collaborations, three straight masterpieces of music. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross turn in another beautiful soundtrack, and probably their most haunting yet. What I love about their scores is how well they contribute to the film and the experience. Reznor is a musical genius. Reznor and Ross are easily my favorite composers now, and the Reznor/Ross/Fincher combo is just absolutely awesome. The film has the usual Fincher style touch to the film. The beautiful, yet, mysterious and haunting, and so many other adjectives can describe the cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth. Kirk Baxter's editing is just as crisp as his other collaborations with Fincher, and the film flows so well and presented in a great way. Gone Girl is just a visually appealing film, like all of Fincher's other films.
I love the way the media was played out in the film (just like how I like everything in the film over the book). The media was just able to right away point the finger at Nick as the prime suspect and just paint Amy as this angel. During her days gone, and upon her return. She planned everything out so well, and no one wants to second guess or look further into it. The know Amy was abducted and raped, and nearly killed, and that's all that matters. You see it all the time on the news now. The media is such a powerful thing today. Oh and fuck Nancy Grace and the Nancy Grace inspired character. Oh and that one scene with Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris was absolutely horrifying.
So there I am. Sitting there, realizing that David Fincher has done it again. Only Fincher can take Flynn's novel and screenplay and turn it into sheer cinematic brilliance, like he has done so many countless times, in his twenty-two year plus career. This is a film, only David Fincher can make. This is another Fincher masterpiece, and just further cements him as one of the greatest directors in this generation and in the history of cinema. He is a master of his art. Fincher really made me enjoy the hell out of this film, which is crazy, considering how I've felt so indifferent about it.
You don't know what you've got till it's...
Thank you, David Fincher. You are absolutely incredible.
"I'm the cunt you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this cunt might like. I'm not a quitter, I'm that cunt."