Gone Girl ★★★★½

STORY 5/5
WRITING 4.5/5
ACTING 4.5/5
MUSIC 5/5
CINEMATOGRAPHY 5/5

David Fincher has held a fairly consistent track record of making first-rate films, that are both mentally and visually astonishing. He also seems to absolutely love throwing twists into his movies (see Fight Club, Seven, The Game, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). And this film is no exception. Oh, and if you think that saying that there's a twist in a movie totally ruins the twist... first of all, it's incredibly clear, just from the marketing of this film, that there will be twists. Secondly, no, saying there's a twist does not ruin the twist, and it never has.

Gone Girl is likely one of the most intense theater experiences of my life. I mean, Gravity had me shaking, but this set my mind reeling, and I was often on the edge of my seat throughout the excellent film. There is no question at all: this will at the very least be nominated for Best Picture, and it is easily among my top five of 2014. I may be throwing out five-star ratings somewhat nonchalantly (as I very much suspect I will be giving Interstellar a five-star rating as Nolan never fails to impress), but I'm considering it for this film as well.

David Fincher (or should I say Gillian Flynn) plays with the idea of narrative, the unreliable narrator, and general story all throughout this film. Here, it's not just the characters that seem suspiciously unreliable, but the film itself. Flashbacks are done in a very unique way, with a quickness similar to the rapidity of shots in trailers. And when Fincher introduces a twist in this film, he's not done yet. He flips the film again, and then again, and then grabs the sinister and murderous board game that the film is, and flips the entire thing over, spilling player's pieces everywhere.

Gone Girl is a vicious game of cat and mouse, both when it comes to the characters' relationships and the film's relationship with the audience, though the audience is clearly the mouse. Much of the heavy atmosphere is due to the absolutely brilliant score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Apparently, when Fincher was giving guidelines for the score, he told them to think of the music that is supposed to make one calm in a spa, and then turn that idea around. The music, as the film progresses, becomes gradually more violent and powerful.

David Fincher's spectacular visuals are, as always, very present and they are especially beautiful and dastardly horrifying, both individually and as a complete work.

It's hard to put this film in a genre... it's part mystery, part crime, part thriller, nearly a courtroom genre film without the courtroom, and by the end it's almost definitely, atmospherically, a realistic horror film. Gone Girl is one of Fincher's best works. A masterpiece of devilish and immoral deeds and intentions. This isn't simply one of those films displaying a failed marriage like Revolutionary Road orBlue Valentine. This is about a marriage gone completely haywire, horrific, intense, and morbidly off.

I can't wait to see it again.

Dominic liked these reviews