Film Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl

David Fincher’s adaptation of the best-selling novel Gone Girl is a finely executed mystery.

When his wife Amy is missing from the family home, Nick Dunne faces a media frenzy over her disappearance. Things intensify when speculation that Nick was involved in Amy’s disappearance begins to grow…

Adapted from Gillian Flynn’s novel (with the author acting as screenwriter), Gone Girl is an engaging mystery thriller. The film is superbly structured, and executed with flair.

Director David Fincher guides the story with aplomb, Given the nature of the narrative, Gone Girl could have easily been a trashy thriller more suited to television movie status with some hokey twists. In Fincher’s capable hands, however, the film is elevated beyond this. The result is an engrossing mystery with satisfying progression.

Pacing of Gone Girl is great. Viewers are engaged from the outset, with the story providing a rich hook. The reveals in the narrative are measured, and arrive at suitable intervals. It is this that keeps the audience gripped; the story is meaty enough for viewers to demand to know where it will lead.

At the heart of Gone Girl are two themes. The first is marriage, as the film plays out a complex relationship between the two protagonists, particularly through the use of flashbacks. Secondly, and more interestingly, Gone Girl satirises media coverage of missing person cases, such as the one featured in the film. The satire is on point, with parallels in sensationalist coverage abundantly clear. There are also laughs to be found within this.

Ben Affleck offers a good performance as Nick Dunne. However, it is Rosamund Pike as Amy who really steals the show with a convincing performance. Cinematography in the film is polished, and the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is a good accompaniment.

Gone Girl may actually work much better for viewers who have not read the book; it is the potent mystery which is so engrossing. Notwithstanding, David Fincher offers plenty besides to please his audience.