Synopsis: “With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.”
Gone Girl is a shocking surprise, and one of the best thrillers that I have seen in theaters for quite some time. The film is able to keep its intensity throughout due to the stellar screenplay, top-notched acting, intelligent editing, and a specific vision by director David Fincher. I wouldn’t call Gone Girl Fincher’s best film, but the movie is nothing but a masterpiece in filmmaking.
An adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name, Gillian Flynn successfully takes her work and translates it onto the big screen in a beautiful way. All of the characters feel real, as does the situations that they face. Her screenplay explores the trials of marriage and love, and the consequences of the doomed ones. The screenplay is given justice by one of the standouts of the technical aspects of the film, and perhaps an award contender: the editing. Having worked with Fincher in the past, Kirk Baxter keeps the tone of the film consistent, with every scene having a purpose for the events transpiring in the movie. The score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (also frequent collaborators with Fincher) also keeps the tension high as the soundtrack manages to stand on its own as a wonderful listen, while still alternating between what is music and what may be confused as a sound effect. Jeff Cronenweth’s cinematography is another highlight and every shot is alive and feels natural.
The acting in this film was stellar for the most part. Rosamund Pike’s performance as Amy Dunne will surely be acknowledged come award season. She is a scene-stealer and a show-stopper, and to go more into her character would require entering into spoiler-territory. Ben Affleck is terrific as Nick Dunne and that’s more than exceptional considering that the movie revolves around his character’s struggle to find and accept the truth. Tyler Perry surprised me with his performance; he too is terrific as the lawyer Tanner Bolt. His character brought home most of the laughs from the audience and his presence was welcomed each time. If there is a weak link in terms of acting, I’d turn to Neil Patrick Harris. He’s not terrible in his role nor is he even bad, but some of his scenes didn’t feel real and his lines weren’t delivered as naturally as the rest of his cast. Supporting actors including Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, and Patrick Fugit were also very good with their performances.
Gone Girl is one of the best movies of the fall, if not the year. A disturbing piece of cinema from one its better directors, featuring exceptional acting and amazing technical accomplishments, it is a must-watch for movie-lovers. It is a must-see for anyone who loves a good mystery and is a fan of the novel. However, it is extremely wise and essential that spoilers for the film be avoided at all cost; the experience is more inclusive when you know nothing. Gone Girl receives 5 out of 5 stars.