2 StarsAn astute master craftsman’s befuddled love letter to the two directors he loves most: Alfred Hitchcock and David Fincher. The resulting movie, taken from the book by Gillian Flynn and interwoven with the director’s almost trademark nihilism, is watchable for the first 45 minutes or so, until ludicrous plot turns and genuinely unlikable characters cave the story in on itself. It’s tempting to dismiss Gone Girl as topical sensationalism. But Fincher’s film is too meticulously crafted to write off as mere exploitation. Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly boring.
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) are an upper-middle class couple living in the suburbs. On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick returns home to find Amy missing. The crime scene has the appearance of a struggle, but something doesn’t sit right with the investigating officers, Nick’s anxious demeanor and somewhat aloof behavior is troubling. Soon, the story of the missing housewife has gone national-wide and the ensuing media frenzy revels embarrassing truths about the disintegrating state of their marriage, and Nick’s infidelity. All of which condemn the man in many people’s minds and leads to the Public opinion that Nick murdered Amy.
To discuss the story in detail requires a viewing or familiarity with the source material. It would be unfair to have the events told and not experienced, whether you enjoy the experience is debatable after the fact. The typical cold detachment that is present in every Fincher film is pushed to it’s blistering extremes, the movie is so lumbering that I was expecting the “it was all a dream” ending, that mercifully never came
Gone Girl has moments of acute awareness, wether it be social media speculations, cable news talking heads, or even the way our neighbors perceive us. All is undone by the need for Fincher to set his lead character as a walking Hitchcockian vamp. The obvious inspiration is oddly pretty good when the director copies Hitchcock, and pretty awful when he apes himself. The least of the esteemed filmmaker’s work to date.
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry