johnlink ranks GONE GIRL (2014)

I’d like to thank HBO for hitting their summer season. I’ll finally catch up on a bunch of movies I wanted to see in theaters and never got around to. GONE GIRL premiered this weekend, and it didn’t take my wife and I long to get to it.

gone-girl06

I watched GONE GIRL (2014) on 6.22.15. It was my first viewing of the film.

The fine line with a blog of this sort is deciding what to give away and what not to give away. As a guy who doesn’t even like to watch movie trailers, I will always ere on the side of caution when it comes to spoilers. With a movie like GONE GIRL is is hard to do that, as each act has several moments which seem to reveal some truth that may or may not be reality. Fortunately, there is plenty to talk about with this movie beyond its plot, so I can be brief when it comes to story and go into the elements which make this a successful thriller in a little more depth.

Generally, the story involves the disappearance of a woman, Amy (Rosamund Pike) and a husband’s search for her. That husband, Nick (Ben Affleck) may not be the best guy in the world, but we fluctuate between thinking he is absolutely innocent and absolutely guilty. That is not to give anything away, since this is all in the first ten minutes of the film. The movie jumps back and forth through time, sometimes dishonestly, as it slowly reveals all the elements of plot. There are many side characters who are important, but this is absolutely a story about the strange relationship between a husband and wife with a lot of noise to direct our attention away from what is happening between them.

This is a very good thriller. The script is unique, the story is not predictable, and the characters are interesting. There is plenty of cat-and-mouse going on, and never does it become boring. First and foremost is the riveting performance by Rosamund Pike. She is a revelation in this film. Affleck is good too – he is the steady force of the film – but Pike gives a landmark performance. Her Amy is equal parts vulnerable and manipulative. As the movie bounces across the timeline we see all different versions of a woman who’s insecurity is the one constant. There is also strong support from many of the secondary characters, particularly from Tyler Perry (I was surprised too), Carrie Coon, and Neil Patrick Harris.

The music of Trent Reznor, once again working on a David Fincher film, is appropriately haunting but never invasive. It glides us through from scene to scene, often giving us footing in a non-linear story. While the music itself is understated, it’s powerful effect on the final product should not be.

Fincher’s direction is direct. While there are plenty of tricks in the script and in the editing, Fincher shows us what these people ‘see’ in a way that allows us to never feel comfortable truly sympathizing with someone for a long time. In a modern film world with modern film audiences it is impressive to keep us guessing. And once we are no longer guessing it is also impressive to see how many bullets are still left to be fired (metaphorically speaking). Much of that is thanks to Gillian Flynn’s script (based on her own novel), but Fincher brings it to life in a marvelous way.

It’s hard to talk too much about this without ruining everything. So having highlighted those things, and knowing it’s only real downfall is how many of the secondary characters are discarded and not given proper resolution, just know this is one to see, and to see more than once.

SCORES

FILM: 7; MOVIE: 9; ACTING: 8; WRITING: 8; BONUS: 1

The bonus point is for the aforementioned film score.

7+9+8+8+1=33

FINAL SCORE: 8.25 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on June 23, 2015.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks GONE GIRL (2014)”

  1. I’ve got an unopened copy of the DVD on my shelf. Worried it won’t live up to the experience I had watching it in the cinema. Great film, great review.

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