Gone Girl

This is a movie which initially left me thinking if this is a good or bad movie. It grew on me as it progressed and turned in to a thriller I was happy to watch. Not the best movie ever made but far from the worst. It reminded me of the old Noir thrillers such as Dial M for Murder (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) or Joan Crawford’s What Ever Happened to Baby GG_Jane (1962). Ben Affleck (Argo 2012) is the ordinary everyday guy who,  on the day he is celebrating his 5th wedding anniversary,  comes home to scene of a struggle in his house and his wife missing. The events take place the town of North Carthage a sleepy backwater which is a mirror to the busy New York lives Affleck and his wife lived prior to coming to the town (for personal and economic  reasons). Following the initial call from Affleck’s character, Nick Dunne, the police wonder if all is not quite what it seems. The missing wife Amy (Rosamund Pike, A Long Way Down, 2014) is actually the inspiration for a children’s book character by her parents. Upon hearing of her missing the Parents come to town and quickly set-up a volunteer network to find their daughter. Through a series of flash-backs we see how Nick and Amy met, and eventually ended up back in small town North Carthage. This also allows us to get to know the missing wife and  sets the scene for the action to unfold as the movie progresses. The tension between Nick and Amy’s parents is palatable if under played, very nicely done. As with any detective story we are immediately fed with a collection of possible suspects and a town who is growing increasingly hostile to Nick and his sister as they are suspected of Amy’s disappearance. The deliberate clues being left behind don’t help the situation either. As is always the case we begin to get the self-opinionated locals with this own theories as to what happened. In the middle of all this is Detective Rhonda Boney ( Kim Dickens, Sons of Anarchy, 2013-14) who does not let the emotions of the small town crowds cloud her judgement. She is looking for a missing woman. Having been a suspect, events unfold and Nick is eventually released again, such is the objective nature of Detective Boney, that Nick at one stage turns to here and asks “so we are friends again?” Her response is a calm, yes, now that she is happy he is not guilty. As the search progresses we start to see cracks appear in the perfect marriage between the Dunnes, we also learn of the history of people and their romantic pasts. Nick Dunne is originally from the town and spends a good deal of his time with his sister, who unwittingly becomes involved in the evolving situation. As the situation descends Nick is forced to hire an expensive New York lawyer, Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry, The Single Moms Club, 2014) to protect himself. The only other person Nick has on his side is his sister, Margo (Carrie Coon, Intelligence, TV, 2014) with whom he shares ownership of a bar, “The Bar” in town. It also does not help Nick’s cause that his perfect marriage, has a kink in it, both husband and wife are feeling the tension in their marriage and we later learn Nick might have been doing something he should not have. However things are not as they seem and as the movie progresses we see the true crime reveal itself through the deliberate clues placed previously by his wife, Amy. This movie may place the character of “Amy” as one of the better Noir characters full stop. The support cast with the likes of Neil Patrick Harris (The Muppets, 2011) is excellent, such is the picture painted of Harris’s character even before we meet him that it (deliberately) shadows our opinion of him right to the end, as the movie unfolds his past is something that sits in the shadows waiting to come out. I would love to tell you about the movie, but there are so many twists and turns that anything said will impact the story. With some movies twists are thrown in to try to keep the audience engaged and sometimes look purely as an attempt to keep the audience. Here the twists are an essential part of the plot without making it feel laboured or drawn-out. I had certain concerns about this movie starting off, but they quickly disappeared. The movie is directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, 1991, The Social Network, 2010), his experience shows, we are brought along as the plot and characters develop. Rating a solid 7/10, not perfect, but not bad and it keeps us well entertained, drawing us in to the continuously unfolding story. Just as we get to one level or accept a twist, there is another one quickly following behind. The Screenplay is written by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the novel as a result the team knew the movie they wanted to make and did so. Watch it and enjoy it.