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MOVIE: GONE GIRL

STARRING: BEN AFFLECK; ROSAMUND PIKE; TYLER PERRY; NEIL PATRICK HARRIS; SELA WARD

DIRECTED BY: DAVID FINCHER

AMovieGuy.com’s RATING:  4 STARS (Out of 4)

I lay in bed last night, with my beautiful wife asleep, my fluffy white dog at the foot of our bed, in my happy Chicago apartment, and I could not sleep.  After watching David Fincher’s much anticipated film Gone Girl, I was restless. A fear came over me, as the films thematic question shook me to my core: as humans, do we ever truly know the people we love? That slightly rhetorical question is scarier than any horror movie could show us, and the chilling tone setter for why Fincher’s film is one of the best of 2014.    

The talk surrounding this film is deservingly high, because cinema buffs could not wait for “The Social Network” and “Fight Club” Director to get away from his Netflix vacation with “House of Cards” and get back to his movie roots, with this- the 2012, New York Times Best-Selling tale by Gillian Flynn. Although I have not read the book, this is the kind of suspense novel that fits right in with Fincher’s style of eerie reality and shocking darkness. Fincher get’s every aspect of this film correct, not just in the suspense factor, but dialogue with the blackest of black comedy moments, combined with what one could call- thriller porn. It is Hitchcock’s “Marnie” and De Palma’s “Femme Fatal” combined. The actions this film’s characters take is so wrong in all the right ways.

I will not go into too much detail about the plot of the film, because the plot IS the entire movie. It stars Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, a college professor, and a failed writer. He is married to Amy Dunne (played by Rosamund Pike in a more than Oscar worthy performance), also a writer and her mother’s children’s book is based on her. The couple lives in a beautiful Missouri suburb. Nick comes home one day to find a smashed table and a missing wife. Did Nick kill her? We don’t know, but he is a suspect. And so the search begins. 

The real celebration is Fincher’s spectacular precision in every decision made. With an eerie score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, all the way down to the perfect cast. 

Affleck’s celebrity is under the radar enough to play the everyman, who also has an angry side. Nick’s twin sister Margo, played by Carrie Coon, brings support through the drama, a pillar in a well structured building. There is Tyler Perry, in what is most likely his best performance ever (what a bold and smart casting decision), as the Johnnie Cochran-like lawyer. Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s obsessive ex-boyfriend, and then there is Pike. The choice of the UK actress is what makes the film. She was chosen over names like Portman and Witherspoon, and thank god. A well-known actress from the states makes this movie lose its reality. Casting Pike allows us to truly believe this is the girl. She is a Tippi Hedren blonde. She is so pretty you could kill her. 

Gone Girl not only entertains, but engages the viewer. Like many films that have come before this, it makes social comments about mainstream media and how they can run with stories. What Fincher and author Flynn says about marriage or relationships as a whole is the films real statement. It is not a battle of sexes, but a battle of psychology.  We are all on an even plain. Anyone is possible of a mean side. Even if you are kept up in your perfect apartment, with a “perfect” life, you never know what humans are truly capable of. And that is the scariest thought of them all. This is one creepy masterpiece. 

4 Stars

Written by: Leo Brady

leo@amovieguy.com  

     

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