North Texas Daily

“Gone Girl” lengthy but worth investment

“Gone Girl” lengthy but worth investment

“Gone Girl” lengthy but worth investment
October 06
23:34 2014

Dalton LaFerney / Senior Staff Writer

The 2014 movie, “Gone Girl” has the capacity to throw off even the most intuitive of viewers. There is little-to-no subtlety in the film, as the quickly developing storyline takes off from the gate, racing toward multiple dead ends only to bounce off the wall to find another direction.

Romance is a key theme as Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) Dunne are portrayed as poetic lovers with seemingly endless passion and sexual desire. But as most romantic tales often do, their relationship evolves with negative energy into a partnership fueled by deep hatred from Amy and disdain from Nick.

Police detectives played by Kim Dickens, the lead investigator, and Patrick Fugit quickly put the pressure on Nick when Amy disappears one afternoon, appearing to have been kidnapped from her home while Nick was away.

It follows Nick’s perspective into Amy’s disappearance, showing from start to finish his take on the situation. The viewer sees the moment Nick discovers Amy is gone, so the mystery is more anticipated.

Questions are raised when a well-orchestrated plan is discovered with “Clue One,” a card from Amy to Nick as part of their anniversary celebration. Amy lures Nick and the investigators to each of the clues, creating confusion for all parties. Each of the cards contains a riddle to find the next clue. As the movie’s main theme suggests, appearances aren’t always what they seem.

Affleck gives a worthy performance, but Pike, being the most important character in the entire film, stole the show. Neil Patrick Harris’ role as Amy’s deranged ex-lover, Desi Collings, did not require much talent. Tyler Perry fit the role of Nick’s high-power attorney Tanner Bolt perfectly. Dickens’ role as Detective Rhonda Boney was perfect. Sister to Nick, Margo Dunne (Carrie Coon) is her brother’s main source of support throughout the movie.

Intertwined with the main storyline are flashbacks of time Amy and Nick spent together. The flashbacks first start at the beginning of the movie and transition brilliantly with the main sequence of events, flowing naturally from scene to scene.

Much of the film is narrated by voice-over readings of Amy’s journal entries. Her words very effectively foreshadow the rising actions into a plot twist as well as the climax that answers the story’s initial mysteries almost instantaneously. More inquires are raised after that point however, as the movie transitions from a crime drama into a thriller about self-interest and power.

Director David Fincher creates excellent drama in scenes with brilliant volume and well-placed stages, again, transitioning fluidly into the next one.

The true roles of antagonist and protagonist are revealed late into the film as the perspective of the film shifts with the climax.

A recurring concept is Amy and her family’s concern for money and recognition. Her mother and father wrote a children’s book, “Amazing Amy,” based loosely on her life.  When she goes missing, the name is used again to create a marketable search effort and effectively vilifies Nick as the man who killed his wife, “Amazing” Amy. 

After the climax, an increase in gore takes control of several of the scenes with some upsetting deaths and actions. However difficult to watch, the gore does not take away from the main point. Instead it assists in the fabrication of the story’s psychopathic killer.

“Gone Girl” pushes the current trend in film and TV of a powerful, creative character imposing priorities on all those around them with precisely calculated actions.

After almost three hours, the movie ends abruptly with questions unanswered. However, in the film’s falling action, some things about the future of the story are implied, justifying the abruptness.

The substance of the film does not warrant 145 minutes of time and could have been shortened, but the time was used wisely with the many turns throughout the film. Attention is kept on screen and there isn’t much time for the viewer to get bored because of its fast pace and engaging actors. 

Featured Image: Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck,  finds himself the chief suspect behind the disappearance of his wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike, on their fifth anniversary. Photo courtesy of Merrick Morton and Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises

About Author

Dalton LaFerney

Dalton LaFerney

Dalton is the editor of the Daily.

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