Gone Girl ★★★★½

The characters, the pacing, the wit, the cinematography, the narrative, the twists, the screenplay, the direction; all of this makes Gone Girl this year's best film that I have seen so far! I will attempt to talk about this film without spoilers, and even if with a spoiler or two, you will find that this film will throw constant surprises at you even if you do spot the odd cliche (which the film is almost void of). David Fincher's masterful direction and a terrific screenplay by GIllian Flynn (and based on her novel of the same name) make Gone Girl a tense and intelligent film.

I don't even know where to begin. The film opens to our characters and the whole situation, making you think the plot is going to go along the lines of 'Prisoners' where we are hoping the character successfully finds the missing person they are after. We are taken on a much more complex trip that really has you on the edge of your seat.

To quote another reviewer on here " the film never remains "the same" for too long. It's constantly growing and exploring new directions"- Eli Hayes Review here This is exactly how I felt. The film starts off as one and keeps on changing, going different directions which make it truly unpredictable and unflinching. It combines elements of mystery, suspense, thrills, crime and throws it against a critique of marriage and relationships.

And aside from being a crime-thriller, the film is a criticism not only of marriage, but of media exploits. While not the films absolute core theme, it is very interesting to see Flynn's attack against how the media can blow things out of proportion, produce false representations, the unreliability of truth in news reports and most of all how contradictory it can become. I would go in to detail, but I will not to avoid spoilers.

The film also throws in little bits of humour, but not quirky moments of comic relief. Moments that make you grin because it is full of wit. It worked well against the rest of the film adding a little bit of balance to the films dark and very tense tone.

As for the look of the film, once again Fincher displays excellent cinematography and lighting in one of his films, which is probably a result with his collaboration with Jeff Cronenweth, the cinematographer who also worked on Fight Club and The Social Network. The look of the film is very crisp and the colours range from bright and colourful, to dark and dreary which match the films ever-changing tone.

I was very surprised by the performances of both Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Especially Pike. I have not seen anything else she has starred in, but she has appeared in films including Die Another Day, Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Surrogates. I actually don't want to talk about her performance because it would genuinely be a plot spoiler. She was fantastic. Affleck's character was interesting, but not very dimensional. He had some personality, but I think more could of been given to his character for us to relate more to him and grow a level of empathy. It did not need this essentially, but would of been better for us to care more for him.

This film is certainly one I hope gets a nomination for best picture, and it is certainly a good contender. This is one of the best films we have had in our recent years and was continuously enjoyable and fully engaging. Its 145 minute runtime didn't drag in the slightest, and I wouldn't of minded if it was a little longer. Gone Girl is an absolute must see because talking about it isn't enough!

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