It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good suspenseful film. While I’ll admit to being a little picky when it comes to movies, I just don’t think any recent movies have made the cut. However, now I can happily say that Gone Girl, based off the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, has definitely fulfilled the great dramatic/suspenseful movie void in my life.
The film stars Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, and Rosamund Pike as his wife Amy. Through a series of flashbacks as told by Amy’s diary, we find out that the two are madly in love and have quite the adventurous marriage living in New York City. After the Great Recession hits in 2008, the marriage seriously begins to struggle. Amy’s parents, who are wealthy from publishing a children’s book series based on Amy, even have to borrow from her trust fund to pay off debts. The couple move back to Nick’s hometown in Missouri to assist his twin sister Margo in taking care of his mother who is dying from cancer.
Fast forward to present day: Nick’s mother has passed, they are still living in Missouri, and the marriage seems to be back to normal. On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick comes home to what seems to be a break in and his wife is nowhere to be found. Immediately, the cops and media begin to blame Nick for Amy’s disappearance and possible murder.
At first, I went right along with what I was supposed to believe; Nick was a vicious killer and Amy was just a sweet victim (it was almost reminiscent of the Scott Peterson case in 2004). Everything started to add up. Nick had the motive and the means to kill his wife and make it look like a robbery gone bad. But, that was far from the truth.
By utilizing Amy’s rather convincing diary entries to narrate the movie, director David Finch does an amazing job taking you on a wild journey as we find out the truth about Amy and Nick’s tumultuous marriage. What really makes this movie come to life is the incredible acting done by the cast. Each performance was convincing and dramatic without being too much. Affleck nailed being the typical cheating husband type, but still made me feel bad for him for dealing with such an intense marriage. As a side note, I was feeling very nervous about Affleck being the next Batman, but after showing his skills in Gone Girl, I’m feeling a little better. Supporting cast members such as Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris, who are used to comedy roles, did a fantastic job playing more serious characters.
However, I think that Pike was the real star of this movie. I had never seen her act before even though she has been in many other movies, and I was not disappointed. Pike was able to make herself seem like an innocent and interesting woman stuck in the housewife role who just wanted to make her marriage work, when in reality she was a complete sociopath. Even when I thought I knew what was going to happen based on Pike’s actions and personality that she gave Amy, I was wrong every single time, and I loved that.
I could not find any major downfalls to this film. The cinematography was great, the soundtrack complimented the plot well, and the acting and directing were extremely strong. Possibly the only drawback to Gone Girl was the extremely long running time. Two and a half hours is a long time for a film. Although it’s lengthy, I don’t think that it drags on at all. The plot flows together well, and kept me intrigued the entire time. Only after the movie when I figured out I had been in the movie theater for two and a half hours did I realize the movie was so long. So, if you have two and a half hours to kill and also feel the need to fill the dramatic/suspenseful movie void in your life like me, then definitely see Gone Girl.