Gone Girl: Movie Review
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens
Director: David Fincher
Based on Gillian Flynn's widely acclaimed novel and directed by House of Cards director David Fincher, Gone Girl comes with the weight of expectation.
Ben Affleck is Nick Dunne, a former writer who becomes the focus of a nationwide obsession and police investigation when his perfect wife, Amy (a character and career best Rosamund Pike) goes missing. With the thrust of the media glare, public opinion and police scrutiny firmly on his shoulders, Nick's apparent innocence in this case comes heavily under question as the mystery begins to unfold...
To say anything more about this darkly twisted thriller (unless you're familiar with Flynn's book) would be unfair and would venture into spoiler territory. With the shifting narrative told in flashback from Amy's point of view and juxtaposed with the current police investigation into Nick, half the visceral thrill of this deliciously devious story comes in the playing out of the details.
A slickly cerebral and taut thriller, Gone Girl manages to inveigle its way under your skin in the most uncomfortable fashion you could imagine. As Fincher examines the facade behind Nick and Amy's marriage, unreliable narratives, questions and nagging doubts form in your mind, thanks largely in part to an understated and unshowy Affleck as Nick, the man for whom the spotlight never twists away as he veers from sympathetic to suspicious and from a career-redefining powerful turn from Pike as nice-as-pie one moment and ice-queen-the-next-Amy, the woman who seems too good to be true (and who would be suited to femme fatales, Hitchcock and one of Linda Fiorentino's finest).
Elsewhere, Neil Patrick Harris takes suave and cool to a new unexpected level - but in a twisted David Fincher way. Further solid support comes from Carrie Coon as Nick's twin sister and Tyler Perry as an all-too-familiar high profile hotshot lawyer to stir this potboiler into a seething mix.
Not since Twin Peaks has there been a drama about love, marriage and suburbia that's been as dark and as disturbing as this and that's largely in part to Fincher overseeing it all and your descent into moral depravity, complete with an unsettling Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross OST as this perversion of perception heads towards its final shockingly repugnant stretch.
At its heart, Gone Girl is a skewed and daring take on the trust between couples, marriage and the psychology thereof, a sly view on an unwanted "celebrity" life within the media and justice system and a shocking mystery thriller that's as button-pushing and as riveting as you can ever hope for.