“Gone Girl” Review And Summary

By Gus Edelen O'Brien ’17

David Fincher is a sick, sick director. Every minute of “Gone Girl” is deliciously vile. Fincher turns what could what have been a trashy, revenge, girl-power flick into something that will most likely show up on the Oscar ballots this winter.

Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck in "Gone Girl" (Photo: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox)

Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck in “Gone Girl” (Photo: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox)

The movie opens with Amy (Rosemund Pike) resting her head on Nick’s (Ben Affleck) chest as he professes his desire through a voice-over to open up his wife’s head. He truly understand her and what she’s thinking. He sounds like a serial killer as he looks on at his wife with disinterest and obvious hate. As she stares at him with icy blue eyes, we see absolutely nothing but a glassy sheen. We can’t tell what she’s thinking about. We can only see from her smirk that she has won something important. She is the victor and Nick is her trophy, bound to her because of her carefully constructed plan. Like a cat, she prepares to play with him, wringing him out and making him suffer for his crimes against her.

Played out on screen, the dialogue works perfectly, but as only a script, this movie would have repelled me. “Airplane novel” is what I would have branded Gillian Flynn’s adaption of her best-selling book. On paper, the lines would have seemed too cheeky, too perfect to be believable. I’ll be honest and say that sometimes the dialogue comes across as a little heavy-handed on screen, but the way the script plays out keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the movie. Honestly, it is the third act that saves the movie from becoming just an average thriller. If the film ended with Amy at the bottom of the ocean, I would have been left dissatisfied exiting the movie theatre. However, instead of ending there, the script takes you even deeper into the murky souls of these characters and their actions. This creates a thoroughly satisfying film.

 Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) searches for his wife in David Fincher’s "Gone Girl" (Photo: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox)

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) searches for his wife in David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” (Photo: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox)

Pike is wonderfully flawed in this movie, and her cold realistic take on Amy makes her character, Amy, faintly relatable, even when she is covered in blood. Pike excels in this role, making her character wildly sympathetic until the third act, when she completely reinvents herself. I hate her character, but in this movie it is hard to like anyone. Everyone is so twisted and scheming, plotting to undermine other characters. She plays her role so wonderfully that I would be surprised if she isn’t nominated for best actress this winter.

Part of me wishes that the film would delve deeper into the backgrounds of the characters, but anyone hoping for an entertaining thriller with a little more depth than necessary should head to the cinema this fall.