Gone Girl

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Iím not one of those gals who fawn over Ben Affleckís looks and I generally have found his acting to be subpar.  Thus, discovering that Affleck was to star in Gone Girl, the adaptation of Gillian Flynnís bestselling novel, I was not inspired to go see the film.  It was actually the intriguing way that the storyline was to play out, told in a his side/her side style, eventually revealing the truth.  So, when my friend suggested we see the film based on all of the buzz, I decided to agree.

                We meet Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) on the day of his fifth wedding anniversary.  The man we meet appears to be somewhat frustrated with his home life and on the verge of making an important decision.  He returns home to discover that his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing under suspicious circumstances.  Calling the police doesnít seem to be helpful, but Nick figures itís the right thing to do. 

                We start to learn a bit about the Dunnes, discovering that the two fell madly in love after meeting one another for the first time.  The happiness lasted until the recession, during which they both lose their jobs.  Afterwards, they make the big move from New York City to Missouri to care for Nickís dying mother.  It is while they are there that their marriage begins to undergo some strain.

                As the movie moves forward, suspicion moves toward Nick, as the husband invariably becomes a suspect when the wife goes missing.  It doesnít help matters that Nick is resistant towards the police and their lines of questioning.  It doesnít help matters when people see his relationship with his senile father, not really understanding that there is a past at work there.  Nick is hiding the fact that he has been finding clues left behind by his missing wife Ė a treasure hunt game that they have played every single anniversary they have celebrated.  Oh, and letís not forget, the little matter of the younger mistress (Emily Ratajkowski).

                The longer the movie plays out the more the viewer begins to believe that Nick may have actually done in his wife.  Even his sister Margo (Carrie Coon) is beginning to doubt him.  But one thing you have to remember about Gone Girl is that not everything is exactly how it seems.  So, I ask you, did Nick actually do something to his wife? What about her former stalker (Neil Patrick Harris)?  Nickís girlfriend?  Amyís ex-boyfriend (Scoot McNairy)?  And if itís someone else, what is their motive for framing Nick?

                Did I like the diabolic mastermind plot that Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay for this film, has provided her audience?  Yes.  In fact, I thought it was pretty darn clever and I did notice a number of couples in the crowd who began squirming when they realized just exactly what was happening in this film.  I also enjoyed some of the more clever, tongue-in-cheek moments in the dialogue that gave the audience a moment of humor in an intensely dramatic story.

                That being said, I found Gone Girl to be overly long and drawn out.  I thought the story could have been told in two hours, rather than the two and a half.  I loved the his/her concept, but the longer things dragged out, the less I began to care.  Not being a fan of Affleck, I canít say I could find much sympathy for his characterÖand Rosamund Pike didnít present us with a much more sympathetic portrayal of Amy.  In fact, the character I most sympathized with was Nickís sister Margo, who suffers much in support of her brother, despite all of his faults.

                My friend was not all that enthusiastic about the ending.  In fact, I do believe her response to the ending was, ďThatís it?!  Youíre kidding me!Ē  I suppose she felt as if the movie had ended without justice being properly served, but the moviegoers sitting next to us said that the book ended the same way, so I suppose that kudos should be offered for not veering too far from the book the movie was based upon.

                Despite its flaws, I did enjoy most of Gone Girl.  I loved the extreme psychotic behavior of someone obsessed with revenge against another and all that they are willing to go through to exact that revenge.


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