Overall Grade: (A)
With great writing and strong performances this film is a perfect blend of drama and mystery with a creative plot twist that keeps you guessing and results in an enjoyably intriguing tale.
“GONE GIRL” follows the course of events that begin to unfold when the intelligent, successful and beautiful Amy Dunne (Pike) turns up missing. Nick (Affleck), her charming husband seems the last one likely to be involved until detectives begin to delve deeper into the case. Signs begin to point to a marriage that was not all it was made to appear, and that the happy couple may not have been so.
For Ben Affleck 2014 was more known for his being cast in the upcoming DC Comics film as Batman, a move the caused a tidal wave of opinion from critics and fan-boys worldwide despite the film not being released until sometime in 2016.
With all that buzz it was safe to say this recent film of his came in under the radar as most tag-lines often read similar to, “Affleck as the new Batman, what will this mean for the future of DC Comics and the caped crusader? Oh yeah and check him out in “Gone Girl” coming to theaters this fall.”
With the masses of sequels, reboots and remakes in Hollywood these days it is always nice when a film can come in with some of the old tools of film-making and result in a fresh, high quality viewing. This film did just that as it weaves a story you think you can predict but soon realize is only the begin foundation of a much larger scope in ambition. For me this was two films in one as the fist half plays out like a crime-drama with a who-done-it approach to breaking down the disappearance. Like an episode of “First 48” you sit back and take in all the clues as you begin to determine for yourself if Nick (Affleck) does know more about his wife’s abduction then he is leading on.
The script does an excellent job of starting at present day and as the days follow, flashbacks on the humble beginnings and background of the relationship and introduced to shed light on their past. This also aides in developing the characters to get a sense of their emotional state and their lives leading up to the currents events of the plot and along the way lead to you many assumptions as to what the third-act climax will bring.
The run-time is hovering around the two and a half hour mark and while normally that would hinder a film for me given time is often a rarity, for this film it was worth it to watch the plot of this script develop. The flow is swift and time passes fast as you take in the detail of the story. Just as you begin to feel a slight lull in the middle of the second-act, the twist in the plot comes in and the film takes a huge turn. The theme instantly turns from drama to mystery with a tinge of thrill as all the notions you have built up in the first half are tossed out the door.
The cast is excellent, Affleck delivers a strong performance and properly conveys all the needed range of emotions to pull off the part with intrigue. Despite his performance I still think Rosamund Pike was the shining star in this film. Without revealing any spoilers, if this film did not have her captivating performance this film would not have been as entertaining as it turned out to be. She showed great range in her role and delivered what was needed some scenes not many could do with such realism.
The side characters were also great in this one, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris both added to the enjoyment of this film with their performances and both seemed perfectly fit for their roles. Overall the cast as a whole showed great chemistry and a clear effort in delivering the intended mood that director David Fincher wanted for this film adaptation of the novel written by Gillian Flynn.
This is easily a great watch, the script is well written and perfectly organized for a clear, concise and intriguing tale of love and deception. Regardless of the long run-time this one will keep your attention throughout and definitely entertain for a night with a quality film and some popcorn.