Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star as horrible couple Nick and Amy Dunne, in this adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel about Amy’s mysterious disappearance.
Under a lesser director, this outlandish thriller could have been a disaster, or Before I Go to Sleep. But in the terrifyingly talented hands of David Fincher, Gone Girl goes from suburban satire to psycho-sexual thriller with icy smoothness. Each ridiculous revelation is so well played that you can’t help but admire its audacity, as it all comes together in a big boiling pot of Paul Verhoeven and Brian De Palma, complete with a Hitchcock blonde in Rosamund Pike.
Her Amy Dunne is brilliantly mercurial, while Ben Affleck is well cast as the unlikeable husband. Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens and Neil Patrick Harris round off the impressive cast, with strong support from Tyler Perry, Patrick Fugit and Missi Pyle as a poisonous TV news host.
This spoof of sensationalist news adds another layer to the multifaceted drama, though the film is really as tabloidy as the media it sends up, and given the distracting level of product placement, just as corporate. But unlike tabloid news, Gone Girl is extremely clever and well written. Gillian Flynn adapts her novel for the screen with a gleeful twistiness, while her spiky humour, social critique and playful narration aren’t exactly new territory for the director of Fight Club.
David Fincher fuses The Game‘s puzzle structure, The Social Network‘s modern resentment and Fight Club‘s identity games to form one slick and sick thriller. He’s superbly supported by frequent collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on music duties, cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth and editor Kirk Baxter, not to mention a producer credit for a certain Reese Witherspoon.
Flynn and Fincher keep you guessing and gasping for two and a half hours, in a menacing mystery of mistrust, misogyny and modern marriage. A pulpy and paranoid picture, Gone Girl is undeniably trashy but irresistibly entertaining.