Gone Girl – Review
Gone Girl Review
‘Gone Girl’ marks David Fincher’s return to the dark, mysterious world of which he revels in. It’s a twisted psychological thriller that is made great and fresh by steller acting and a clever script. Essentially, it’s a character study and the film boasts intricate and complex characters; characters whom we assume we know, but the twists that are masterfully deployed by Fincher eliminate any sense of knowledge we know about these characters. The film keeps you on edge for the most part, but its resolution is underwhelming with more questions arising rather than answers. Whilst this gives off a sense of frustration, it gives off a far stronger sense of mystery and confusion – emotions that will linger around in your head may days after the initial viewing.
The plot is simplistic, at face value, with the narrative focusing on the disappearance of Rosamond Pike’s characters who is married to Ben Affleck’s character. Paranoia and hysteria ensue and the media and locals hypothesise that the husband killed his wife. The film explores this notion as well the role of the media in the manipulation of fact. Very little else can be said without spoiling the film, so I’d best summarize the film with the following tagline; not everything is what it seems. The film loves dabbling with the idea of fact and fiction, it’s remarkably clever and veers into both world often enough to confuse the viewer and leave them dazed as to what is actually going on. It’s gripping and edgy, which is why the film demands the constant attention of the viewer.
Rosamond Pike gives the performance of her career in what is a chillingly outstanding performance. Her acting is incredibly natural in this film to the extent that you forget she is actually an actress. Affleck’s performance is solid, but weaker than that of his fictitious spouse. He stands out as “the actor” and doesn’t subsume himself into the role of the husband as well as Pike does. Tyler Perry gives a very strong performance and steals every scene he is in. Unfortunately, Neil Patrick Harris lets the whole team down with a sloppy and implausible performance. It felt like he put no effort into the film and was just doing a regular TV shoot. Thankfully, he doesn’t get much screen time and the short time he does get is saved by Pike.
Fincher feels comfortable in this type of world and that is perfectly clear, but at times I questioned his approach to some of the story-telling. The film drags in places and feels uncomfortable, had the resolution been 25 minutes earlier I think the film would have had more going for it. The last act is a tad sloppy and convolutes things too much. We know Fincher likes his twists and that’s perfectly clear, but the ending didn’t need a fancy twist as we got that in the middle; instead it needed finesse and I think that’s what ‘Gone Girl’ lacks in places. The end lacks the sense of mystery, fast pace and intrigue the first two hours had. Here lies the issue, the film overstays it’s welcome and suffers as a result.
Nevertheless, the last five minutes will still provide you with a gasp or two and don’t detract (heavily) from the film as a whole. Essentially, ‘Gone Girl’ is a gripping drama that is fresh and well-acted. It’s disturbing, dark and dreary – a world in which David Fincher revels in.