Gone Girl ★★★★

More thoughts to come tomorrow, maybe, but I'm putting this up so I don't forget everything when I sleep for all of 5 hours. Anywho.

This is the first Fincher film I've seen at the cinema and It was definitely a treat. The cinematography is immaculate, and surely some of the best of the year. It doesn't use stylish visual effects like Zodiac, or glossy neo-noir overtones like Se7en, bit the aesthetic is pleasantly Fincher-esque. Which is to say that it's about as dreary and dark as you'd expect, and about as good as well.

The acting is really solid all around. You have Tyler Perry doing a surprisingly good job, and Neil Patrick Harris not leaving a huge impression; and then you have the two leads — Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike — who are both excellent. Pike might outshine Affleck by a tad, but they both play their parts incredibly effectively. Probably Affleck's best performance.

The style of the film and its plot are immediately comparable to Fincher's own The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It makes sense, given that they're adapted from the same type of mass-consumer novel thriller, but some similarities are striking. However, I think Gone Girl succeeds past Dragon's level of quality due to the fact that it stands more firmly on its own. Dragon is only one-third of a trilogy and it really shows, especially in the film's ending. While Gone Girl could have definitely ended on a higher note, there is a sense of closure. However, following that closure is another 10 pointless minutes, but I digress.

The score is one of the best of the year, as is the sound. Not really surprising, that a Fincher film is so technically marvellous, but it's worth mentioning for sure.

The script is very good. I've not read the novel upon which the film is based, so I can't comment on its accuracy, but in terms of pure screenwriting, it's great. Some of the beginning scenes are cliché and not so top, but it picks up pretty quickly. The plot itself is engaging and involving, that has more than enough twists as turns to have the audience tuned in. It might lack the punch of something like Se7en or Fight Club, but its equally haunting in its portrait of disturbed domesticity. It's a film about illusion, marriage, and a whole load of other things that Fincher conveys so well... through an adaptation of what is, essentially, airport fiction (which isn't automatically a negative statement, there's plenty of good "airport fiction" books). It's pretty remarkable.

Overall, I'd say Gone Girl is my favorite of the year so far (tenetevally). It starts and ends sort of weak (with some especially odd editing in the beginning), but the atmosphere, acting, plot, and technical aspects make this film one to watch for come the year's end.

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