Gone Girl

Gone Girl ★★★★½

When I first learned that David Fincher would be adapting The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo into a film, as quickly as I could, I ran out to buy Stieg Larsen’s novel. I read the book cover to cover to prepare for release day. It created an awesome and unique experience that allowed my own personal ideas about the book to intermingle with Fincher’s in my mind.

Naturally, when I heard about Gone Girl, I followed the same course. But it occurred to me when I was about a third of the way through Gyllian Flynn’s fantastic novel, that I didn’t want to prepare for the release of the film. It wasn’t so much that I wanted simply to avoid spoilers, but that I didn’t want to be worried about plot points when I got my first glimpse at the world that David Fincher had created.

Fincher has developed a reputation as a director, for creating these incredibly bleak, gloomy films that don’t exactly make you feel very good. Behind all of the darkness and gloom, is one of the most talented and technically gifted story tellers who has ever become a film director. The majority of Fincher’s films have been adaptations. Whether it be a novel, the life of a billionaire or British television program, Fincher always elevate his material to become something greater. Fincher brings it to the next level.

This is absolutely true of Gone Girl. Flynn’s novel is pulp of the highest degree. If it was published 50 years ago, it’d be nothing more than a dime store rag, but as it is, Gone Girl became a runaway bestseller. What Fincher does with this story is nothing short of genius. In the hands of the master, this tale becomes a Hitchcockian epic, drawing immediate comparisons to Psycho and Vertigo. Fincher uses this as his playground.

The film features pitch perfect performances from every member of the cast. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are reliably wonderful, and turn in some of the best performances of their careers. And of course, under the direction of this man, even the minor performances of people like Tyler Perry and Emily Ratajkowski manage to do exceptional work. Every element of this film operates like a cog in a well-oiled machine, and it turns this film into one of Fincher’s best.

Gone Girl deals with a remarkably dark subject matter, but it becomes a showcase for all the best elements of David Fincher’s work. It’s simultaneously terrifying, absurd, disgusting and hilarious exactly when it needs to be. This story is perfect for this director, and it brings out the best of his abilities to tell a story. Fincher is concerned with the relationship between man and wife, and the conclusion is absolutely mortifying.

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