Adam’s Film Friday: A Review of Gone Girl

ggmp

What makes a story newsworthy? Is it that the people involved have an intriguing background, or is it that we can relate to their story? Is there more to the story than we as the public aren’t privy to? Would we view the story differently if we knew the whole truth? All of these questions are explored in the film Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. The film takes its viewers on a roller coaster of emotions complete with an all-star cast and a top-grade director. What you’re left with is a stunned reaction and an overall feeling of WTF?

Closely following the book, Nick and Amy Dunne have been married for five years. Amy suddenly goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. Her husband Nick comes under suspicion and begins to act aloof and questionable when under the press’ microscope. During the investigation Nick begins to look guiltier than ever and everyone, including even those closest to him, begin thinking he is guilty despite his proclamation of innocence. Did Nick, the all-American perfect husband, kill his wife or are things not what they seem to be on the surface?

Gone Girl was one of the best page-to-screen adaptations I’ve ever seen. One factor that supported this was that the author of the book, Gillian Flynn, was responsible for writing the screenplay. The same emotions I felt while reading the book were felt throughout the film: the bone chilling scenes, the shock of the twists, and the utter disgust I felt towards certain characters were all still very much present throughout the film.  Much of the film’s dialogue was taken directly from the novel, which gave it such a genuine feeling of truth in the adaptation.

gg1From the first scene to the last shot, I was completely immersed in this world of mystery and double meanings, and could not physically wait for the next scene. I say physically because the emotions took me on an emotional roller coaster, and sometimes I needed a minute to think about what had happened and grasp it. It sometimes toys with your emotions more to see the actions of a film play out in front of your eyes rather than what you feel while reading the pages of a book. That is definitely true here. The film was under the proper care of director David Fincher, a director who meticulously crafts every scene no matter how important/anti-climactic. He is also known for having very dark lighting and dark cinematography and this works perfectly for the tone of this story. While at its core it’s a very dark story, there are small bits of humor sprinkled throughout. Every scene was exquisitely put together, from the shot choices to the lighting, sound, and score. The score is flawlessly crafted by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (the third collaboration between them and Fincher).

In my opinion, the film’s success depended entirely on the perfect casting of Amy. You needed an actress who you can relate to at face value, but know nothing about her beyond that. As a viewer, you know all about Amy’s superficial information: hair color, eye color, what clothes she wears, etc. Her personality, however, is a complete mystery. Rosamund Pike was the PERFECT choice for Amy. While she’s not a household name, she’s someone who dove head first into the complexity of the character and was ultimately successful in her portrayal. From the first time you hear her character speak, she was Amy.

gg2Ben Affleck’s acting has never been better. I never thought I would say this but Tyler Perry was really good in his role as Nick Dunne’s attorney Tanner Bolt. I was most hesitant about his casting because the character of Tanner is crucial to Nick’s story. Perry is known to play very over-the-top characters, so while I had some faith that Fincher wouldn’t ruin the film by miscasting the role, I still felt a level of skepticism. Perry’s delivery of one of his last lines had me laughing out loud and I realized how true the sentiment was behind the line. Kim Dickens as Detective Booney and Carrie Coon as Margo Dunne were excellent supporting players. They both have long careers ahead of them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if their names are mentioned during Oscar buzz.

All in all, I think this was a perfect adaptation of the book. I loved every aspect of the film, and would have gladly watched a five-hour version, as I was so engrossed. For all the controversy surrounding the end of the film, I felt that it was a cherry on top of this sundae of a film. It will stick with the viewer for days, weeks, and even months. I would suggest it to anyone who loved the book, or anyone who was intrigued by the trailer or promotional material. I will say, that after viewing this, you will never look at tabloid headlines the same way again.

7 out of 5 Stars

Gone Girl (2014)
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
R, 149 Minutes

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Adam’s Film Friday: A Review of Gone Girl

  1. I read the book, but have not seen the film yet. I hated the ending. Poor Nick and Baby. Amy is sure to hurt herself and her family until she gets the help she needs. I hope the author is considering a sequel. Very creepy book and creepy author (a classmate of mine in college knows the author! -we’re in chicago so i told her to tell her that the book’s ending was terrible and to ask her if she is amy in disguise lol)

  2. Pingback: Adam’s Film Friday: A Review of Gone Girl | Author - S C CUNNINGHAM'S BLOG

  3. I agree that it was an amazing book-to-screen adaptation. Sometimes even when the writer is involved the story loses something but this one was amazing. I would only add that Neil Patrick Harris was a spot-on Desi and I loved him there.

    Happy Reading!

  4. I finally finished Gone Girl this week. I abandoned it the first time I attempted to read it (I almost abandoned it the 2nd time I read it). I didn’t realize that once you get to part 2, it is impossible to book the down. I refused to allow myself to see the movie until I finished the book. Your post made me even more excited to see the movie this weekend – thanks.

  5. I really enjoyed Gone Girl even though I have never read the book. The acting was amazing, but I did feel as if the twist was a bit of a let down. After all the hype with the trailer making out there would be a draw dropping twist, I sort of saw it coming. However I still would recommend the film and will definitely be adding it to my dvd collection!

  6. I have to agree I loved this book so much and I was worried about going to see the movie but I was not disappointed!! Thank god, I remember watching My Sisters Keeper after loving the book and I nearly smashed the tv screen it was so bad!!!

  7. Weirdly enough, I saw the movie first and then read the book. The movie was a great ride and there were definitely some couples there that had no idea what they were in for, which made for awkward walks for everyone out of the theater. It was a treat to read the book after seeing the visuals and Rosamund Pike’s incredible performance. Gillian Flynn’s plot pacing is exquisite! -Cheri

We'd love to discuss this post with you. Drop us a line!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s