Gone Girl

October 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Posted in 2014 | 1 Comment
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Having read the book, it’s hard for me to know how surprising the twists and turns of this film would be for most viewers. I felt like it was obvious where things were going in the first half of the film (though, like the book, the second half is impossible to guess) but, when the big reveal comes halfway through, the woman next to me gasped, so perhaps I’m not giving it enough credit. Either way, this was a fun and fast paced thrill ride that stayed remarkably true to the book. Ben Affleck has been rightly praised for his performance, which requires a fair amount of subtlety; his character, Nick Dunne, is a complicated one. But I was really impressed by Rosamund Pike (mostly seen in small roles in films like “Jack Reacher” and “Die Another Day”). Her performance as the titular girl was great fun to watch. There is little I can say here about the plot, as the twists are so elemental to the story. Yet, I will say that the translation of the book to film was finely done.  You can feel David Fincher’s (“Fight Club,” “Zodiac,” “The Social Network”) taut directing throughout. At 2 1/2 hours, he still manages to keep up a brisk pace from start to finish.  The audience gasped with the first line of the film and again in the final cut to black; there were furious whispers all around me as the credits rolled. It’s that kind of movie. This is not your typical Hollywood thriller and it plays with audience expectations, all the while mocking us for those expectations. There is a brilliant running commentary in both book and film around our 24 hour news cycle and the way the media’s script tells us what to believe about what we see. There is something cleverly meta going on when the film does the same thing to us that it is commenting on.

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