This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Sam Blackman’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Today, I finally got to see one of my (and many other's) most anticipated films of the year. I am happy to say that Gone Girl is a major achievement on all levels, and a highly enjoyable experience.
Expertly directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl is a stylish and beautiful film. Though many may find the film a little on the long side, I found that the two and a half hour running time flew by, and found the film to be very well executed. Gillian Flynn adapted the screenplay from her own novel, and the translation to film is perfect. She avoids cramming the film with pointless information, though there were a few characters and moments I'd have liked to be included, though I wont dwell on them.
The acting throughout was one of the main highlights for me. Ben Affleck has absolutely never been better, and he allows us to root for his character while still conveying his thoughts and unusual behaviour effectively. Rosamund Pike's Amy (the titular 'Gone Girl') is absolutely terrifying. Her transition from normal, put-upon wife to murderous, cold-blooded killer is sensational. The strength of Rosamund Pike's portrayal is the way she lets the human side of her character co-exist with her psychopathy, making her all the more terrifying.
The supporting cast also does a fantastic job. Carrie Coon is a particular stand out for me as Nick's salt of the Earth twin sister. Tyler Perry is a nice surprise, bringing some great humour to his scenes without becoming a joke. Neil Patrick Harris has relatively little screen time, but is adequate in his role, as far as I'm concerned. Rounding out the main supporting cast is Kim Dickens, another standout in this film for me, though I'd liked to have seen more of her.
Another great aspect of the film is the humour infused in even the darkest moments. It never feels forced, it just occurs totally natural, and saves the film from having a dour, unenjoyable tone, which is a fantastic achievement given the subject matter.
Quite frankly, my only complaint about the film is that I wish it had elaborated on some of the personal relationships explored a little more in-depth in the book, such as the time Amy spent with Nick's mother Maureen. Some of these early interactions serve to further humanise 'Amazing Amy', and may have made the contrast with her later behaviour even more potent.
With powerful, effective performances and a moody, foreboding atmosphere, Gone Girl is an engrossing and very fine film, and one I'd like to revisit in the near future.