By McKenna Hendrickson ’17
(Editor’s Note: Bamboo critic McKenna Hendrickson reviews David Fincher’s film Gone Girl after reading Gillian Flynn’s thriller novel. As a result, this review may contain spoilers!)
Gone Girl (2014)
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon
Synopsis: On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy (Pike), goes missing from their Missouri home. Shocked and intrigued by Amy’s disappearance, residents of her town of Carthage, and gradually the rest of the country, begin to rally for Amy, a classic all-American sweetheart. As the investigation ensues, we see snippets of Nick (Affleck) and Amy’s life through Amy’s diary, and learn about their more-than-troubled marriage. Slowly, evidence piles up against Nick, and despite his claims of innocence, he is eventually arrested for his wife’s murder. But Nick’s insight into the mind of his wife leads us to believe that the simplest answer is not the correct one.
Review: The great thing about Gone Girl is how the story is simultaneously a stomach-churning thriller and an interesting exploration of relationships. You can go the theater expecting to be scared, and you’ll get that effect, but this movie will also leave you pondering how well you can ever know another person.
The highlight of the movie is the stunning performance of Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne. Pike captures the biting intelligence and all around iciness of Amy perfectly, and it is her complex role that makes the movie so exciting to watch. Also turning in an impressive performance is Ben Affleck, who brings the standoffish and chilling Nick to life.
My main critique of Gone Girl is its length. Two hours and thirty minutes is a long time to spend watching a movie, even if every minute has important details. While Gone Girl makes good use of its running time, the story becomes tiresome by the end of the film.
Since I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl before watching the film, I was disappointed at the lack of character development for both Nick and Amy in the movie. Both of their childhoods are almost completely left out, and only a fraction of their early marital days are featured. These points are crucial to getting the full effect of the book, so I felt omitting this information or giving it scant coverage hurt the movie. Yet, despite these few shortcomings, Gone Girl is an excellent film! I highly recommend it.