Gone Girl

Gone Girl ★★★★★

"Are you sure you're married to this woman?"

Humanity revolves around perception. Success relies not on who you are, but on who you seem to be. We create these versions of ourselves that we wear as disguises; shields between us and the world. Every man wants a cool girl, and will become a cool guy in order to get her. What would happen, however, if they were to get married, then gradually realize that they fell in love not with a person, but with a mask? Nick and Amy Dunne had lived in this blissful facade for two years when it began to crumble, and the people left underneath could barely recognize each other.

At first I thought this was a commentary on modern marriage, but as the story progressed, I realized that this is a powerful discourse on our society. David Fincher has always seemed like something of an outsider. He watches from a distance taking notes on how society works, then packaging them in a way that people stuck within the system can understand. He did it first with Fight Club, then later, with the Social Network. Here, with the help of a razor sharp script from Gillian Flynn, he has done it again.

Every aspect of this film works in perfect harmony. The cinematography from Jeff Cronenweth is dark and precise, stunning in a very controlled manner. As far as I know, this is the first film to be shot using the Red Dragon camera. The extra resolution and dynamic range work perfectly to create an overly sharp, uncannily accurate image, perfectly fitting with the themes. The two lead actors are also brilliant; each bringing a slightly alien quality to their characters, being equally believable as victim or villain.

The aspect of production to me which was truly awe-inspiring, however, was the score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It is unlike anything I have ever heard before in a film, and more than anything else is what creates the stifling mood. Right from the opening notes, it is almost too perfect, just like everything else in the film. From there, it gradually adds discord and rougher edges. They create a knot in your stomach which is slowly, painfully tightened.

All of these elements come together to create an eerie landscape of perfection in a way that only David Fincher can. I truly can't imagine this film working in the hands of anyone else. Every detail is cold and calculated, just like that crime scene. But when you peel away 'Gone Girl's' superficial layers of beauty and see the beast on the inside... You might not like what you find.

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