Review: Gone Girl (2014)


No stranger to adaptations, David Fincher helms Gone Girl, a hypnotic, twisted and shrewdly executed thriller that’s been reworked for the screen by none other than the novel’s author Gillian Flynn. Nick (Ben Affleck) returns home on his fifth wedding anniversary to discover his wife, Amy (Rosamund), has disappeared. As a media storm erupts and the police uncover incriminating evidence, Nick quickly finds himself as prime suspect, forced to hire defence lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) for protection. Retaining the novel’s two-track plot structure, the film flits between the past (Nick and Amy’s marital bliss and subsequent downfall) and present, as several expertly played twists and turns unfurl – including an almightily whopper halfway through – to nerve-shredding effect. Fincher holds back on his visual style, playing it cool and calculating, ensuring the fiercer, darker moments (of which there are plenty) burrow deep. This, much to the films benefit, leaves the pitch black, inquisitive narrative and first-class performances from Affleck and Pike to do the heavy lifting. Affleck is effortlessly snaky as Nick, while Pike scorches as Amy. The support from the rest of the cast is uniformly valuable (Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens, in particular), and the accompanying score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross burns in all the right places. To say anymore would be to defy Gone Girl’s virtuoso skill as both a dark thriller and unnerving character study, but it’s brilliant – no, amazing – whichever way you look at it.

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