Gone Girl

Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

With recent success with The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and most notably the Netflix production House of Cards, David Fincher directs the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s own best-selling novel Gone Girl. Fincher’s previous directing credits in investigations from Seven to Zodiac are more than worth mentioning. They are essential viewings for any film enthusiast.

Starting with a novel of more than five hundred pages and reducing it to more or less two hundred, author and screenwriter Flynn has done a tremendous job in skimming an unique plot and keeping the essential and the most interesting parts of her novel. While the novel has many ups and some downs or lesser parts, in the motion picture we are in the presence of the most interesting facets of the investigation. It is difficult to summarize the plot line because many elements are potential spoilers. However, the author of the novel had to pin point the plot aspects that were helping the story to evolve at a nice pace without compromising her idea and the whole situation it describes. Having read the novel weeks before I saw Gone Girl, I can state that it is one of the best adaptations that is true to the original material and could elevate its better parts to filmic bliss.

Talking of filmic hability, Fincher manages to once again throw a directing job with great mastery at a subtle level of execution. Everything is in the fact that we are leaded by a talented storyteller that doesn’t need any special trick or subterfuge to enjoy this story.

In front of the camera we have now respected as a director but still an actor Ben Affleck with a role that is almost written for him and his apathic presence of good family boy and his weird I want to make you feel okay smile. One thing that Fincher in fact wanted the most from Affleck. When reading the novel, imagining Affleck playing Nick Dunne feels right.
With Amy or Amazing Amy, Rosamund Pike gives a revealing performance of holding back but also complete control over the very meaty part she has to carry.
There are many interesting supporting parts of Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens), Margo (Carrie Coon) Nick’s sister, Desi (Neil Patrick Harris), and Tanner Bolt surprisingly portrayed and mastered by Tyler Perry.

Then you have the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross score that follows their previous collaborations with David Fincher on The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Its texture and composition have been trademarks of Fincher excellence but also subtle or very present ambiant music that blends imagery and sound to a unique place. This might be one of the best score from Reznor and Ross just for the fact that it is present without overly taking too much space.

Gone Girl is another demonstration that the thriller genre can still be thrilling and gets into unexpected twists and turns. Genre novels and films need more Gillian Flynn and David Fincher to bring original stories alive and continue to get people’s attention. To be surprise and entertained is more and more difficult since everything is a product from a product that is a copy-paste of the original. Playing with the rules of a genre doesn’t hurt and Fincher seems to really enjoy himself playing into them and stepping on them just enough to get us a new way of seeing it without making a complete mess that would not appeal to a larger public. Not that I don’t like a mess once in a while but I each time I watch a Fincher film it reminds me how much I admire his films.

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