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Gone Girl

Coming Soon

It’s that story that is definitively “adult”, not to be mixed up with the likes of the ever growing “young adult” genre that seems to just teeter, never quite falling off the edge. Gone Girl, feels like an avalanche in comparison. The book has captivated millions, selling over two million copies worldwide with over twenty six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. With all the hype attached, big names like Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, and Reese Witherspoon (whose film company produced it), would it be worth the hype?

I’m not going to lie, I myself struggled with the actual novel Gone Girl what with almost all of the characters being so unlikable, I was nervous going in to the theatre but I was not let down in the slightest. Affleck’s character Nick Dunne had just realized his wife (played by Rosamund Pike) had gone missing and in one error after another gives off the illusion to the police, neighbors, and us as the viewers that he simply does not care, at least not to the extent that he should. We get a look in to the life of the Dunne relationship via Amy’s journal (read by voiceovers by Pike). Through extenuating circumstances, Nick and Amy are forced to leave their fancy New York City lifestyle and return to Nick’s home state of Missouri, causing tension and resentment right off the bat. The hidden journals Amy left paint the story of a patient and doting wife with an aloof and distant husband. While Amy’s depiction of Nick is cold and indifferent, the media has captured a very smug Nick in front of the cameras during press conferences.

Halfway through when the twisted truth is presented to us, the viewers, it is done in a manner that which is very similar to the book. The film as a whole is a pretty spot on adaption, which can be accredited to the screenplay being written by the author. Wonderful actors like Kim Dickens as Detective Rhonda Boney and Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings, the ex boyfriend, truly brought those secondary characters to life adding another dimension to the story. One aspect I did not anticipate was the humor, which was almost nonexistent in the book. The film however had specific lines that really hit their mark, performed by Carrie Coon who plays Nick’s twin sister, Margo and Tyler Perry who plays top defense attorney Tanner Bolt.

Perhaps it was because we weren’t in Nick’s head in the movie, that the audience seemed much more in favor of him, because like I said, in the book they are almost equally matched in terms of lack of likability. So much so that by the end you are saying good riddance to the both of them. There’s something about this story that really enraptures the audience whether it is being read or watched, I believe it has to do with our fascination with not only murder mysteries but the actual process of the mysteries themselves unfolding. The press, the protests, the on air interviews, the Nancy Grace types, the matter of public opinion; it’s all a very different perspective from the clear cut “here is the murder and this is how it happened” we are told, whether it be fiction or a 20/20 special. Rosamund Pike is a perfect “Amazing Amy”, with subtle nuances they show her vengeful, keeping score, manipulative like thinking, I also must share my continued admiration for David Fincher. His style is all his own and he never overcomplicates things. Despite the movie being almost 2.5 hours, I could have kept watching because I thought the performances to be very believable and enticing at that.

I felt the theatre buzzing when the credits began to role, some of the comments I overheard were “it feels like I cam off a roller coaster!”, “that story was unbelievable”, “I almost feel like crying? That story hurts in a deep place if that makes sense.” I heard positive affirmations all around me with the promise amongst friends to now read the book. Overall I give the film 4.5 stars.

-Montgomery Jones

Gone Girl is streaming now on the following services:
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