17 – Gone Girl (2014) | ★★★★★
Plot: A young man’s wife went missing on their 5th wedding anniversary. The disappearance spurred a massive search and media involvement which quickly pointed its crosshairs against the husband – who may or may not be the elusive culprit.
Fincher messes around a lot with crime scenes. Take Se7en and Zodiac for example, and it always has something to do with finding the perpetrator/s and this time was no different, although not entirely the same, he leaves trace teasing the viewers to pick up his breadcrumbs who may be aware that there is a set-up but not forthrightly sure of what it is or how it will unspool. This time the chase is happening on a maze that is the modern day crazy marriage.
No pre-judgments before watching even if it is based on the book by Gillian Flynn, because I haven’t read it (and perhaps especially because I am a true believer of the medium itself and I’m one of those that do not crucify an adaptation when it doesn’t honor the book so much). But not having expectations was not easy, because it is still a David Fincher film. Fincher more often than not is a pleaser. His films before this have wide audience appeal and most are also critically acclaimed. What’s more is he’s one of the guys who shepherded Netflix’s House of Cards, which cemented his status for me as one of the best in his league may it be big screen or TV. I had to leave all of these outside the door for me to enjoy what is one of the best films of 2014 in my book.
And then there’s Rosamund who shot up from the dark. This definitely is her long awaited breakthrough. I haven’t known her on her previous forays but after watching this, I’m sold! Her Amy Dunne is as sweet as chocolate, and as mercurial as Emily VanCamp’s Emily Thorne, so hollow and full at the same time. You can sense that she is missing even if she is in front of the camera. Such a hard feat to accomplish but Rosamund scored perfectly.
Gone Girl totaled 149 minutes but it did not feel dragged at all. Thanks to the three acts that were masterfully paced. Each had a distinct tone that complemented the one before it and which had organically developed to one very satisfying climax. You got to give it to Ben Affleck too, he elicited just the right amount of flaw to which you cannot fully submit your trust and not readily damn his Nick Dunne, there’s just this room full of doubt to where he walks.
“What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?”
– Nick Dunne
Runtime: 2hrs 29min (IMDb)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris