A plot synopsis won’t do this movie justice, but here goes one anyways.
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) spends the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary alone on a beach before heading to a bar he co-owns with his sister Margo (Carrie Coon). It’s clear the siblings are over Nick’s wife Amy (Rosamund Pike), the titular gone girl who turns out to be missing after Nick returns home to find a crime scene. An investigation begins, the community rallies around the family, and Nick can’t keep himself from looking like the guilty party with blunder after stupid blunder. When the national media turns circus, Nick does what he can to maintain his innocence, but he'll discover he's in way over his head.
But that’s not what Gone Girl is about.
It’s more than a movie of a series of events. It’s not just a satire of the public’s fascination with murders and courtroom shows, and the mystery of what really happened to Amy is only half of the film.
Gone Girl is a parable about marriage inside of a suspense-filled horror movie that really digs into the taken-for-granted ideals of trust two people place in each other when they say, I do. Imagine Seven as a love story with more complex layers and characters intricately woven from multiple threads. You can like one aspect of Gone Girl and love the entire movie for what it is even if it damages your soul.
And that’s what makes it amazing — the more you see, the more your head begins to fill itself with crazy ideas that will keep you up at night.
Pike is absolutely amazing as Amy, and though she doesn’t appear much until the second act of the film, the narrated diary entries give Rosamund plenty of opportunity to seduce you with her voice. Affleck on the other hand is the film’s card deck to Pike’s sleight of hand. Nick seems innocent enough, and the town rallies to the 'homecoming king' whose good looks and sincere smile are face forward. Still, you’re never quite sure he’s innocent — in fact, nothing is sound until the film reveals all secrets and transitions to its second act. And then it becomes a movie of control, expectations, and motivation.
I won’t spoil it for you, but be ready because you haven’t seen anything else like it this year. Director David Fincher, whose paced films have done a thing or two with crime plots, goes above and beyond his previous efforts with his most technical film yet. If there's an anti-chick flick, this is it, and if you’re unlucky enough to be married, you might have to sleep with one eye open tonight.
Score: 5 / 5
[Gone Girl](movie:833123) might be a hard film to market because you can't explain it in a few paragraphs. It requires a dissertation to cover every nuance, satire point, and its deft deconstruction of marriage that aims for the underbelly. This is a thinking person's film who wants Seven with even more brains.
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