The idea of knowing someone, takes a horrifically dark turn in novel turned film “Gone Girl.” The original story written by Gillian Flynn has taken life on the silver screen by Academy Award winning director David Fincher, and much like his previous movies the truth is far from what the viewer assumes.
The film takes place in a sleepy Missouri town, where Ben Affleck’s picture perfect life takes a turn for the worse when he returns from his bar to find his wife (played by Rosamund Pike) missing after what looks like a struggle in their living room. From the beginning the viewer easily assumes it’s Affleck who seems to not understand why it’s happening or how. While Pike narrates different entries from her diary painting a picture that seems less than ideal; the film messes with the viewer from the get go.
Pike’s character challenges the traditional female character seen in other films where they are usually victim and are the passive ones. While Affleck unlike other male leads takes both an emotional and psychological beating from not only his missing wife but the whole nation. Pike gives a stunning performance and brings to life a character who would do better in a mental ward than in a quiet neighborhood. While Affleck shows a man who is beaten, tired and just completely at wits end due to psychological abuse.
The whole cast plays as pawns to Pike and Affleck who command the screen in this dysfunctional reality created by Flynn and brought to life by Fincher. The film stars other Hollywood known actors, one being Neil Patrick Harris who falls victim to the twisted life led by Pike and Affleck, as well Saturday Night Live alum Casey Wilson who takes on a more serious albeit ditzy role in this film. While Tyler Perry is serious and commanding as the attorney hired by Affleck. Kim Dickens plays the no bullshit detective who is trying to solve the mystery of the missing wife, Dickens commands the screen with a serious demeanor who in the end realizes the true motive. While the story centers around Affleck for the first half of the film, you realize there is so much as we get to know Pike’s character in flashbacks painting a dark and complex picture.
The film is dark in story, the cinematography is dull and dim and we never truly see too many dark colors. Many of the colors throughout the film are muted and seem almost sad and somber much like the marriage Pike and Affleck have through the film. Even the home they share is cold and decorated rather plainly, again a reflection of their lives together. Though the film takes place in the summer, it feels cold and lonely and is very much the way our main characters feel respectively. Even the scenes in New York feel cooler and distant than they should, and it is reflected in the somber moments shared by the characters in flashbacks.
The whole film is a psychological roller coaster that not only messes with the characters, but the viewer as well. Though the film is slow moving and can be hard for some to get into, once you’re in you want to know how and why it all happens. The film is a must see for anyone who is a fan of Flynn, as well as anyone who enjoys dark and twisted stories. Flynn’s novel takes on it’s own life and shows us the true darkness of the human mind, and what people are capable of. It proves that the old saying is true “you think you know someone…”