For anyone who has avoided Gone Girl, expecting yet another abused wife story suitable for Lifetime, you should know that is not what this movie is about. While it does delve into that area, this is so much more of a psychological thriller with a couple of awesome twists.
We meet Nick (Ben Affleck) on the eve of his 5th wedding anniversary. He arrives home to find his wife Amy (Rosemund Pike) missing. In the beginning, Nick plays the part of happy husband, but flashbacks reveal the marriage wasn’t nearly as happy as Nick was claiming. In a surprising mirror of real life, Nick turns from victim to villain in the eyes of the press, leaving most people certain that he did kill his wife. But just when you think you know what’s going on, you get slapped in the face with yet another twist in this roller coaster of a movie.
The direction was well done, with the flashbacks giving just enough to not give away the twist, while keeping you intrigued. You bounce all over the place in your feelings for Nick, from pitying, to hating him and all the way back again.
For once, I have to admit I don’t hate Ben Affleck. There was a time I thought there was only one good thing about Ben Affleck and that one good thing was Matt Damon. But it turns out, this guy can act! He brings a depth to the character that keeps him from being a one dimensional victim/villain. I officially forgive him for ruining Pearl Harbor.
One person that particularly impressed me was Gillian Flynn, the woman who penned the screenplay from her own novel. This is a first for Flynn and it was well adapted to the big screen, losing nothing from the book. Most times, authors writing their own screenplays turn into a disaster, but I think Flynn’s strength with dialog and action really helped pull her through. It was an extremely well-written job.
The score was a bit over the top for me. I hate it when I feel like someone is trying to force an emotion down my throat with music, and that’s exactly what this score does. It’s not subtle and it doesn’t stay in the background, which would be great if this was a musical. It’s not and a lighter touch could have been used on the score.
This is a movie that will restore your faith in the twist. If you’re sick of movies where the twist feels forced in as an afterthought, you’ll find this movie very refreshing. The twists are cohesive. They fit the plot and they aren’t hammered in for the purposes of shock value.
Gone Girl is a smart mystery with a lot of social elements tied in. It really is a scathing look at the American media and how trials are often decided on Good Morning America, as opposed to in the courtroom. The twist elevates it to a completely different level, making it so much more than Lifetime movie fodder. If you’re looking for a great date night movie this week, rest assured Gone Girl is definitely worth the watch.
WE GAVE IT: 4.5 Stars: Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below