Sunday, October 5, 2014

Movie Review: "Gone Girl" (2014)

Movie"Gone Girl"
Director: David Fincher
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 29 minutes
Image Source
After going to work at his bar for a short time and receiving a phone call from the neighborhood looky-loo, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home on the morning of his 5th wedding anniversary to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing and their home in disarray. Worried about her whereabouts, Nick calls the police to investigate. Eventually, a press conference is held and Amy is declared a missing person, and the town where they live in Missouri begins to search for her. When a large amount of blood is found by Detective Boney (Kim Dickens), it starts to look less like a kidnapping and more like a homicide and Nick becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his wife.

Talking about this movie is not going to be easy because there are so many layers and twists and turns in it that it'd be impossible to discuss everything without spoiling it. We know the book has been out for a several years, but it is something completely different to see it played out on the silver screen.

Pretty much every part of this movie is spectacular. We'd be remiss if we didn't first discuss the brilliant directing job on the part of David Fincher. He has a way of turning our favorite books into cinematic masterpieces. This movie is dark, it's clever, it's entertaining, it's engrossing, it's maddening, and it grips you and moves you through a gambit of emotions. It's two and a half hours long and yet doesn't feel that long at all. You get so sucked in and transfixed by the story that you don't even realize how much time has flown, at least in our case. It's also technically very well shot and we like his implementation of several different camera shots, angles, and tricks that jive with the story he is telling, including a very fast paced opening credits sequence. Fincher has a way of building tension that is palpably felt within each and every inch of your body, and this is why we love his work. Directors and filmmakers who make you feel their art, feel their craft, feel their decisions are so wonderful and yet so sickening (if you have a soul) at the same time. He needs to get nominated for Best Director at the Oscars next year. Not just "we want him to be nominated," he needs to be nominated. Fincher also teams up once again with musician Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to create another memorable, eerie, flawless score for this film. The music takes you in and helps to enhance the mood, whether bad, good, tense, or intense. Well done to these the masterminds of music. Reznor seems to have found his niche building epic scores and soundtracks.

Beyond this, it's truly awesome that the author of the book, Gillian Flynn, was also the film's screenplay writer. As far as we know, there were no huge liberties taken with her novel. Now, for the acting. Ben Affleck completely surprised me. For some reason, I just didn't see him as someone who could be accused of murdering his wife, but surprisingly, he plays his role really well as his devious doings are uncovered slowly through the movie's run time. He plays an unhappy husband with a dark secret extremely memorably. He's charming enough so he seems likable, and yet mysterious enough to make you wonder if he's truly capable of being a murderer. His many sides come together in this fantastic role. The star of this movie is really Rosamund Pike, though. She is complicated, stand-offish, the perfect wife, or so it would seem. It's going to be hard to talk about her role without divulging too much, so this is as much as we will say. Much of her story is told through her journal, which she narrates perfectly and dramatically. Together, Affleck and Pike takes us through the motions and emotions of married life and make you both love and hate every minute of it. Tyler Perry manages to be tolerable in this film, dare we say we even enjoyed him as defense attorney Tanner Bolt? This role was made for him: Bolt is snarky but meticulous, and you get the sense that "losing" isn't in his vocabulary. Neil Patrick Harris was born to play an ex-stalker douchebag with an expendable income, soaking in his riches with private, secluded houses, and pretty much anything he wants right at his fingertips. Kim Dickens' Detective Boney wants to get the story right before jumping to any conclusions, unlike her counterpart who automatically assumes Nick Dunne is guilty before a body is even found.

We as audience members of this film are subjected to the same type of media circus in the court of public opinion that takes place in today's society. We watch Nick Dunne get picked apart, scrutinized and crucified for even a simple smile to the cameras. He is even called a sociopath by a talking head with no credentials on national television. This is comparative to many recent cases in our time, such as those involving Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, and Jodi Arias, as well as the now infamous O.J. Simpson trial. The accused have been put on trial on television for the masses, guilty or not guilty. The public is then manipulated by the media at large, usually against the accused, when the majority of the time there is an extreme lack of evidence known to the public, or even to the reporters themselves. The everyday public is then given a platform to blab their their unwanted, unsolicited opinion and thoughts on these cases, though they are not always directly involved.

The American public hates movies that end in and with melancholy. For this reason, we wonder if its already impressive scores across the internet will waiver a bit, though they seem to be holding steady for the time being. Overall, this is another Fincher home-run wrought with intrigue, suspense, and thrills that make you think, as well as entertain you all at once.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

1 comment:

  1. I love love love this film! I felt the pacing in the beginning to be really slow but I guess it was necessary to the characters' arch storyline or whatever that it was introduced. But the moment everything was out in the open I was basically at the edge of my seat the whole time. I thought the actress who played his sister did a fantastic job being somewhat of a comic relief but I hated that side kick cop who just went by his instincts...and would just creepily stand there like a moron.