Gone Girl

Gone Girl ★★★★★

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Strong Performances - Rosamund Pike
The Unexplored Shadows Of Our Realities: Ranking David Fincher

If I had to reduce Gone Girl to simple references, I would have to say that the latest film by David Fincher are remnants of both Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Twin Peaks, wrapping itself in a shroud of hostility that is 21st century media. The film essentially disassembles the concept of marriage in a manner of a Hitchcockian thriller, utilising the strength of ambiguity and doubt for Ben Affleck’s Nick Dunne, recalling the narrative drive of Nicholas Ray’s A Lonely Place, and the terrifying grooming of Rosamund Pike’s Amy that echoes a dash of aura of Mary Harron’s American Psycho.

One can undoubtedly point out the almost masturbatory aspect of Fincher’s direction, as Gone Girl would certainly by far his most playful film, an argument that I believe still holds despite the nature of his highly revered film, Fight Club. The entire film gives off a vibe that he intends to place the audience through an exercise of suspense and tension, wanting to tap onto our superficial senses and play on us until we are satisfyingly exhausted.

This is not to say that this is a film that lacks any sort of thematic resonance of awareness, as indeed its reflection melodramatic escalation through modern media and the head-butting friction between marriage, are palpable to say the least. It is easy to miss, despite the film’s dialogue wanting to press on such issues with a directness that would risk the film in stumbling towards artificiality.

Assembled with un-relentless pace and confidently impressive with its ability to be consistently engaging, characters are presented with a large enough opening into their psyches that we are able to understand their perspectives, but simultaneously, Fincher and its writer, Gillian Flynn, also manages to restrict our senses from enough information that we never become placed in a position ahead of its story.

Of course, these characters only resonate so much due to the wonderful performances that its cast were able to provide for their roles, with Pike and Affleck displayed at their peak forms, a quality from the latter more so than he would in his own directed films, honed with energy and depth that is amplified under Fincher’s thoughtful but also kinetic direction. Even the supported performances by Carrie Coon (Margo), Neil Patrick Harris (Desi), Kim Dickens (Rhonda), and Tyler Perry (Tanner), were electric and fun on screen, like its lead, emphasised in their shadings through Fincher’s cynicism, darkness, and at times snarky sense of humour.

I would always adore this film for the sheer fact that it carries the ability to transport me to a state of elated energy, waking up my dormant senses, aided by the outstanding efforts of Jeff Cronenweth (Cinemaotgrapher) and Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (Music Composers), manipulated with every approached twists and turns, a cinematic feat that reverbs the execution and impact of Rear Window, and with that, Gone Girl deserves to be held at such a high regard.

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