Brandon’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Marriage is hard work"
It is the 5th anniversary of the marriage of Nick and Amy Dunne (Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, respectively). Amy has gone missing in what looks to be a possible kidnapping scenario. When the police get involved, Nick's innocent image begins to falter. With constant pressure from the media and the police, Nick begins to get swallowed up in his own lies and deceit. Nick's suspicious activity lands him as the lead suspect in the disappearance of his wife, and has the entire country asking the same question: Did Nick kill his wife?
Based off of the best-selling novel written by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is a mesmerizing story. It would be of harm to go into great detail of the details of this story. It is best just to go experience it without knowing more than the basic synopsis. It is a film that depends so much on its mysterious plot, so I will refrain from revealing more than I already have. With the screenplay written by Flynn herself, we can assume that the film sticks close to the novel. What blows me away with this screenplay is its intensity throughout the films entirety. The film switches perspective almost constantly; it has its major reveal only about half way through the film, which is an uncommon trait for a film dependent on staying a step ahead of the audience. The script is also filled with dark humor, which sets the mood for the film as a dark and haunting experience. What makes this script so amazing is that after its big reveal, the film becomes even more intense than it previously was. That is a huge accomplishment and its lasting effect is a film that keeps your eyes glued to the screen for the entire duration.
Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl displays much of his style we have come to know. Following a similar path to other mystery thriller's that he has directed, Fincher was a very logical choice to helm this film. And expecting nothing short of brilliance from the great director, he delivers on all notes. The pacing of the film is nothing short of outstanding. The scenes flow smoothly together with nice and easy fades. There is never a dull moment in the film, every scene is meaningful and intense. Fincher's camera work is outstanding as always, with a mixture of shots and angles that make the film a thing of beauty.
One thing I have come to know and love about Fincher as a director is that he gets the absolute most out of his cast. He has a track record of bringing characters to life with mesmerizing performances, and Gone Girl is no exception. Starting with Ben Affleck, he gives a very relaxed performance. His character really requires him to remain calm in a tough situation, so it doesn't leave much room for him to showcase his range of acting. Where Fincher really brings out the most in a character is with Rosamund Pike as Amy. Her character is so eerie and haunting, and Pike plays her to a level of sheer excellence. It's hard to describe her performance without revealing the plot, but just know that it is outstanding. Easily the best female performance of the year to this point. The supporting cast is also very good, with very solid performances from actors like Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Neil Patrick Harris, and Patrick Fugit (I ironically just watched Almost Famous a few days ago and it was weird seeing Patrick Fugit 15 years older).
Finally, you can't forget about the score. Working with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the same duo Fincher has worked with on past films such as The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the score fits perfectly within the mood of the film. It is dark and haunting, just like the majority of the film, and really brings out the intensity of some of the scenes.
Let's be honest: Were you really expecting anything less from David Fincher? Gone Girl is an outstanding film from start to finish. It will most certainly garner a second viewing from me on blu-ray, and it is very possible that the film becomes a solid 5/5. I anticipate enjoying it just as much if not more on a re-watch, as I have with many of Fincher's other films. Gone Girl cannot be recommended enough. Go see it this weekend before somebody spoils the surprise.