Love and Marriage go Together Like a Missing Carriage
Ben Affleck is at h… WAIT!! don’t go!?
Still here? OK. Ben Affleck is at his best when he plays a vulnerable/troubled character as he did in the brilliant Argo or when he plays the loser like he did in Good Will Hunting.
When he is playing almost any other character role, like most people, I find him kind of dull to watch. I mean he doesn’t have the natural smarm that makes me want to punch George Clooney and he doesn’t have the I’m-awesome-and-I-don’t-care style that Robert Downey Junior carries.
In short and without spoilers; Gone Girl is about a girl who is gone. OK, that was dumb. It’s about the disappearance of Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) and is not so much a whodunnit mystery but rather a “did her husband do it” mystery. Ben Affleck is actually a really good casting choice for the role of Amy’s husband Nick and it has to be said; he was very good in Gone Girl, only out-shined by Rosamund Pike.
The reason he is a good casting choice is because the film starts with a smarmy and confident Nick Dunne finding out that his wife Amy is missing, which at first he seems rather unfazed by. At this point you can’t help but find him as annoying as those jeb-ends who take photos with iPads at famous monuments but that suits the character. As the film progresses we learn more about Nick’s life and he becomes more and more of a conflicted character which brings out his best performance and really keeps your attention again suiting the character.
In case you didn’t know the film is based on a book of the same name. Now, I haven’t read… a book… so I can’t tell you how closely it follows the novel but I can tell you to avoid any plot spoilers (don’t worry this review is spoiler free). If you hear someone talking about the film then put your finger in your ears, sing “la la la”, run away and go watch this film for the plot twists because it’s brilliant and ironically one of it’s only minor downfalls.
We actually find out who did it about the half way through the film – thankfully that is not the end of the story by any means. This is undoubtedly one of the high points in the movie but it does means that the next 15-20 minutes fell like a bit of an anti-climax; it’s almost like a mid-season break in TV series.
Then, like a good wine, the film keeps getting better the longer you leave it. We find out more about what makes Amy tick and what makes her explode. Rosamund Pike delivers a full-bodied performance – quite literally in some cases – but these fruity notes give way to a refined ending, which is left frustratingly open making you salivate for more.
A lot of David Fincher’s work holds social statements to decorate his films narrative and Gone Girl is no different. It poses questions around the sanctity of marriage, the interpretation of domestic abuse and it also pokes fun at the fickle nature of shitty talk shows and biased news casts. These social statements are subtle enough so that it doesn’t clutter or over-power the film but adds depth not only to the screenplay but also to the characters on screen.
The only minor criticisms I had were that many of the supporting characters had jarring accents and the editing at the start of the film seems a little ‘choppy’. Others may find the film a bit long at 149 minutes but I never felt bored because once again David Fincher has given us a fantastic film.
- Rosamund Pike
- The twist
- It’s another fantastic Fincher film… what more do you need to know.
- It’s long
- It feels like there are 2 endings
- Some grating accents and acting