Gone Girl

Gone Girl ★★★★

I'm going to start by saying that in the theatre I saw this, no one moved as the credits rolled, nor did anyone make a sound as they sat there mulling over what they just saw. It's that good.

Adapted from Gillian Flynn's 2012 novel of the same name, Gone Girl is the story of Amy Dunne's disappearance and the toll it takes on her husband Nick and the community. Told from both Nick's perspective in the present day and Amy's in diary flashbacks, Gone Girl is a masterclass in tension and manipulation that will leave everyone dreading to ask their partner 'what are you thinking?'

There's so much to talk about in this film, be it simply the mystery or the characters or even the satire on modern populist culture and relationships, and yet, I can't (or won't) because I don't want to spoil it for you. For those who have read the novel prior to the film (and know what's coming), this is not just another case of book to film adaptation. Smartly, Gillian Flynn was hired to pen the screenplay which means two things; first, the film is a strong and faithful adaptation; second, the movie has enough changes in it to make it an entirely separate beast from its source material (without losing any of its spirit or punch). So it is worth a watch regardless of having read it, and worth a read regardless of having seen it (that goes for everything really, one should always read the original novel).

Gone Girl is another brilliant performance from Ben Affleck and is an outstanding performance from Rosamund Pike. Both Nick and Amy should be one note characters really; he's the bored, tired and aimless husband from mid-west America while Amy is the brilliant and stunning rich bitch from New York, and yet (thanks to all involved) these characters are wonderfully and deliciously flawed and relatable. The supporting cast is no less brilliant with Carrie Coon as Nick's voice-of-reason sister Margo, Neil Patrick Harris' perfectly cast Desi Collins and Tyler Perry's hot shot lawyer Tanner Bolt being the standouts. The characters here aren't likeable, but they're real.

Credit of course to David Fincher who once again delivers a brilliant film. This may, in all honestly, not be his best (Se7en and Fight Club) but it's far from his worst. Even then, his worst would still be levels above most directors best. The movie is meticulously and perfectly shot, nothing is extravagant, it all just feels natural and ever so slightly off. Who knew suburban Missouri could look so gorgeous. Special credit also to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for a brilliant score; what should be relaxing is instead unsettling.

From top to bottom, Gone Girl is a marvellous film, and so far one of my pick's for best of the year. It's a mystery; a game; a satire; it's unsettling and it's tense, and it's fantastic. Just don't go getting any ideas.

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