Friday, 20 February 2015

Gone Girl

Out now on DVD and Blu-ray, Gone Girl is the latest film from director David Fincher. It got rave reviews and a huge amount of hype on its release, but looking at it now is it that good? Is it another stand-out film from Fincher à la Seven or Fight Club? Or is it another The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?

Based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name (Flynn also wrote the screenplay for the film) Gone Girl shows what happens when a marriage falls to pieces and a divorce just isn’t enough. The marriage between Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) is a nasty one, but it didn’t start like that. The film shows us the couple from them meeting, to falling in love and dating. Then we see them slowly begin to fall apart. And then Amy disappears and the signs point at Nick. Saying ANYTHING else would spoil the joy of the film. Watching the twists of the film for the first time is just spectacular. 

Remember when Ben Affleck was a joke? Of course you do, it wasn’t that long ago. Well the guy from Gigli and Daredevil is absolutely excellent in this. He makes a likable protagonist, for a while at least. Because of the twists and turns of Gone Girl it’ll be days after you’ve watched the film that you can actually make up your mind on Affleck’s Nick Dunne. The same goes for Rosamund Pike. She is just astounding. Never would anyone watching Die Another Day back in 2002 have guessed she’d be pulling in a Oscar nominated performance like this. Nick and Amy lie and cheat to each other’s faces and drive the marriage into the ground. The irony of the film is that the Dunne’s really do deserve each other, and Affleck and Pike play messed up extremely well.

The supporting cast is great too. A special mention has to be for Neil Patrick Harris as Desi. Only he could make this creepy, pervy stalker from Amy’s past so watchable and it must have been a step out of his comfort zone for the famously nice guy. Also great is Tyler Perry (yes the Tyler Perry from the god-awful Madea films) as Nick’s lawyer.

From the technical side, the cinematography is superb and the music from Trent Reznor underpins the tension building in the film. One scene in particular when these elements collide in spectacular fashion is a certain scene in a bed. It’s one of the tensest, well built and distressing scenes I’ve seen in recent films. It’s awesome. It’s the scene you’ll remember after the credits are done. Saying anything else would spoil it, as with anything in Gone Girl, but for better or for worse you won’t be looking away.

One criticism I’ve seen being mentioned about Gone Girl is the ending. I liked it, it fit the tone of the film. But some weren’t so keen, but don’t let it put you off. The film is almost 150 minutes long but I have never felt two and a half hours whizz by so quickly. Fincher wastes no time and the movie is all the better for it.

I wish I could have gone into more depth with the plot of Gone Girl, but after you’ve seen it you’ll be happy I was vague. It deserves all the praise it got upon it’s release and I really hope it wins something at the Oscars. It’s horrible, unpleasant but also surprisingly funny at moments. It is also exceptionally well made with every element (music, cinematography, direction) all working simultaneously to make something altogether incredible.

A study in depravity, Gone Girl is not for the timid. But it is excellent. It scores a full 5/5.


Jack Bumby

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