Film: Gone Girl
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Gillian Flynn
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris
This film begins on July 5th. Ben Affleck leaves his house and goes to work. Together with his sister, played by Carrie Coon, they run a bar. He brings in a board game and they play. While he is there, he gets a telephone call from his nosey neighbor. Affleck goes home.
He finds his cat is outside and the door is open. He goes inside and finds a coffee table is broken and flipped over. There is a blood spatter on the hood to their stove. His wife is nowhere to be found.
Edited in is information that helps us learn more about Affleck and his wife, played by Rosamund Pike. We see how they met, which was at a party and there is narration over it of Pike writing in her diary. They were the perfect couple and got along great. Pike actually goes home with Affleck that first night.
A detective, played by Kim Dickens, and a police officer, played by Patrick Fugit, is heading up the investigation of Pike’s disappearance. While they are trying to get background information on Pike, Fugit immediately thinks that Affleck is behind what happened to his wife. Affleck does not know some of the basic things that he should know about having been married for 5 years. They also find it weird that he has not called Pike’s parents and they let him out to call them, they are played by David Clennon and Lisa Banes.
It turns out that their marriage was not as perfect as we thought. When the recession hit, Affleck became lazy and he lost his job. Pike lost her job as well. We learn that Pike is resentful of her parents. Her father is a famous writer that took things from her life, made them better and has cashed in on it. This has allowed her to get a great education and have to have a trust fund. Her parents need to take money from it when their books no longer sell.
Pike is not happy that her husband did not ask her to move back to Missouri, but she came along with him when his mother became ill. She knows that their marriage has hit a rough spot. Even more so when Affleck pushed her while she begged him not to leave for work, or did he?
Affleck is caught off guard by all of this and he comes off as smug. The media immediately starts to go after him about being involved. Missi Pyle plays a female talk show host and she kills him constantly on her show. There are things that make it even worse for him though. There is a woman who comes to help search, she is attractive and asks him to take a selfie with her. Affleck gives a smile, but then realizes it is a bad idea. He continues to be beat-up in the media for things like this.
We learn that their marriage is actually nearing an end more than they realize. Affleck is having an affair with a younger woman, played by Emily Ratajkowski. Affleck didn’t know that his wife was still in contact with a former boyfriend, played by Neil Patrick Harris. He also didn’t know she had a best friend played by Casey Wilson. Does he really know his wife?
He then realizes that his wife might not be dead, but framing him. They do treasure hunts for their anniversary, but this one seems to not just be for him. When he realizes that he is really the chief suspect, he enlists the aid of the best defense attorney out there, played by Tyler Perry. Can he prove his innocence?
What makes this even worse is that we learn that Pike is not dead. Will she get away with staging the perfect crime or will her plans unravel?
I have to say that this film has great acting across the board, but I was very impressed by Pike. I have seen her in a few things, but her portrayal in this film is the best by far. She is beautiful while also being a calculated sociopath. This great acting is paired up with an amazing story. I love that the first half of the film shows us Affleck, what he is doing to find his wife while the police are thinking he did it. Then I love that the second half answers questions while creating more issues that are even more complicated. The editing is great. I also love the issues the film addresses. I love the role reversal of the ‘kidnapper’ and ‘victim, how the media controls public perspective and how we might not really ever know a person. It is also great to see what a person will do to survive.
My only issue with this was that it is really long. I personally feel that the last 15 minutes were not needed in this film. I prefer a more ambiguous ending and felt that the film could have done without the ending this one has. The last fifteen minutes really just confirm what many of us would think. This doesn’t hurt the film by any stretch, but just my personal feeling. How Pike plays everything is a little bit farfetched and I’m not sure if it would work out like she planned, but the way she plays the media with things she does, it could work. Just a little bit of a stretch.
I am adding this film to the horror film research due to the subject matter. If this film was just about the kidnapping and murder of a spouse, it would have been included, but since this film goes far beyond that with such a different take, it really makes the list. How demented Pike is also made it be added to this list as well.
I would highly recommend giving this film a viewing. I will state that it is long; coming in at 143 minutes, but it doesn’t feel like it. There is great acting coupled with an amazing story. The editing reveals the film as it goes along which keeps you wanting more. I would not have ended the film as it was, but it definitely needs to be watched.
My Rating: 10 out of 10