My only advice for Gone Girl is to leave all your preconceived notions at the theater entrance because you are about to be blown out of the water. This is not the movie you were expecting–probably very few people were.
The story is based on the source novel of Gillian Flynn who also happened to be the film’s screenwriter. Behind the camera is mystery-thriller phenom David Fincher (Se7en, Zodiac) directing his two stars Ben Affleck (Argo) and Rosamund Pike (Pride and Prejudice).
From the beginning, we get a personal view into the married life of Nick and Amy Dunne. Back in 2005, the romance was just beginning to bud. Now on their 5th wedding anniversary, Amy is gone. Nick is the obvious culprit and we suspect him from the outset of the film, but why would he call in the police to search for his wife? He seems genuinely worried and befuddled by it all.
Soon the police are being taken on a treasure hunt while the whole town becomes frenzied behind the giant media carnival which is having open season on the find Amy campaign. The underlying tension of every present day sequence makes for a nerve-wracking procedural juxtaposed with the romantic journal entries of the gone girl. The race to find Amy is on with the days counting down and Nick collaborating with Detective Boney (Kim Dickens).
By this point, it is insanely difficult to catch up with the narrative because just when a conclusion seems certain a new wrinkle is inserted. There are no givens. Is Nick good? Who is Amy really? Who Knows?
Fincher’s film has one last grand ploy. It shows its hand earlier rather than later, feeding its audience one juicy twist. Far from being done, it continues to follow the fate of poor Nick and Amazing Amy. Gone Girl grows more and more uncomfortable as the days pass and not for the reason you would suspect. On the surface, life seems perfectly normal once more to the still clamoring media, but it’s not the first time that the cameras and reporters fail to see what is really going on.
This is one of the most intense dramas that has come out in years and it in many ways functions as a thriller, a black comedy, and even a satire of the media. The often grisly depictions of violence make the proceeding moments of laughter all that more uncomfortable. Fincher made thrillers before, but nothing quite like this. It’s fidget-inducing, spine-tingling, and utterly perplexing.