Tuesday, October 7, 2014

[Review] Gone Girl

"I'm starting to feel like I'm in an episode of Law & Order," Nick (Ben Affleck) quips as he's questioned by the police about his missing wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike). But Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel, is no Law & Order episode. Its slyly humorous and cynical dialogue, murky characters, and WTF story warrant immense intrigue at every turn. Combine all that with its viscerally warped score and the stellar performances across the board, and David Fincher's latest is cemented into the upper echelon of contemporary mystery/suspense extravaganzas.

Drenched in a shadowy gloss, the film smoothly alternates between two different timelines. One is the past progression (as well as the deterioration) of Nick and Amy's marriage, and the other is the present search and investigation into the disappearance of Amy. In a soon to be iconic scene, Nick emerges as a possible suspect during a press conference when he cracks a smirk in front of his wife's 'MISSING' poster while the press cameras flash. Every subsequent story detail is best sealed in envelopes and tucked away. The narrative doesn't just gradually escalate with subtle nuances, and it doesn't just stack on twists, misdirections, and reversals--it packs fucking wallops.

Aside from exploring the darkest crevices of a marriage gone wrong--way wrong, it's also a strenuous exercise in multiple methods of conning and deception. The overtones present a commentary on the noxious ways the media operates and the disgusting culture of tabloid exploitation, while simultaneously rendering a stunning portrait of psychopathic, wealthy, and detached people. David Fincher directs the performers with slow movements as if they were immersed in an almost robotic state of trance.

Rosamund Pike delivers a potential Oscar-worthy performance. Ben Affleck solidly continues his recent surge for respect (we'll ignore Runner Runner), and he might just shave off a few of his Batman doubters. Kim Dickens is great as the stern lead investigator, and Nick's through-thick-and-thin sister is played by Carrie Coon with a swagger reminiscent of Orange Is the New Black-era Laura Prepon. Neil Patrick Harris gets serious and creepy as one of Amy's ex-boyfriends, and even Tyler Perry shows up and impresses as a savvy and charismatic attorney.

Gone Girl gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "There's two sides to every story." There's probably a lot more than that.


1 comment:

  1. Narry Borman is intrigued. He will immediately go to his local theater house to watch this flick.