Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is (sort of) happily married to Amy (Rosamund Pike) but then on their five year anniversary he comes home to find the house trashed and Amy gone. Soon he along with family and the police are trying to find out what has happened to Amy, however it’s not long before the media’s suspicion falls onto Nick – as it is always the husband that kills the wife.
Gone Girl is directed by David Fincher and its screenplay is by Gillian Flynn, the author of the source novel. It is a very faithful adaptation and fans of the novel will be happy as the rumours of the ending of the film being different to the book are not true – or at least I didn’t notice a difference and I only read the book a few months ago. Flynn has successfully slimmed down her chunky novel to two and a half hours, cutting out scenes and characters that aren’t vital. However that two and a half hours run time can still feel a bit long and some parts do drag a bit.
The film is told in two perspectives. Nick’s perspective is in the present during the police investigation and media hoopla surrounding Amy’s disappearance, while Amy’s is in the past when she and Nick first met, leading up to the months before her disappearance. The jumps between the two perspectives are a bit jarring to start with but you soon get used to it and seeing how Nick and Amy’s relationship progresses adds to the tension and the suspicion of the present day investigation.
Gone Girl is a good-looking film – something you’d expect from Fincher. The shots and framing are great and it makes everything look and feel creepy and tense. The sound adds to the tension and makes it feel eerie too. The sound often reminded me of the old dial-up tone for the internet, which is grating and distracting which really added to the film rather than detracted from it.
The performances are (on a whole) brilliant. Affleck as Nick is some perfect casting as he is awkward and camera-shy and is just trying to please everyone who is helping to look for his wife – this (unfortunately for Nick) makes him look like a bit of a sociopath. Rosamund Pike is also brilliant as Amy. Amy is a complex character as she’s smart and likes to be in control of her life and Pike really adds to the layers of the character. Carrie Coon is fantastic as Nick’s twin sister Margo, she’s never liked Amy but is still shocked by her disappearance and is trying to be supportive of her brother as the media and the police invade her life. Tyler Perry is a surprising yet great addition to the cast as Nick’s lawyer, Tanner Bolt. Perry brings moments of humour to stressful situations that are timed perfectly. The only actor that I felt wasn’t quite perfect was Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings, a guy who was in love with Amy in high school. Desi is an awkward and somewhat creepy character full of charm and while Neil Patrick Harris is obviously a very charming guy in real life, he didn’t seem to quite fit the character or the film as a whole. Not that he did a terrible job, it’s just that it wasn’t to the standard of the rest of the cast.
Overall Gone Girl is a near-perfect adaptation, it’s stylish and creepy and a good-looking film. The only two, very small nit-picks I have with Gone Girl is the run time and a casting choice, otherwise it is a great film that is full of twists and turns and surprises. 4/5.