Movie Review: ‘Gone Girl’
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, and Carrie Coon
Plot: A man becomes a suspect in his wife’s disappearance.
Very early in the movie, when Ben Affleck’s Nick Dunne gives some background information to the lead investigator, Kim Dickens’ Rhonda Boney, he lets her know he owns a local bar, called The Bar. Boney smiles, “I like it. It’s very meta.” That is the key to David Fincher’s latest murder mystery cryptogram that is Gone Girl. That said, this movie is incredibly hard to review, unless you have read the book. There are barely any hints in the trailer for the true direction of the movie. I would really hate to be the one to ruin it for everyone, so I am going to give it a try (reviewing, that is). Calling the meta line the key is about as spoilery as I am willing to go.
It stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as the lead couple getting two very complicated roles and making them seem effortless. And that is really all I can say about that. They are supported by an incredibly strong cast. The underrated Kim Dickens is there to ask all the right questions as the previously mentioned head investigator. She is teamed up with Patrick Fugit, who takes a very thankless role and makes him a deadpan charmer. Neil Patrick Harris finds his inner creeper as one of Rosamund Pike’s scorned lovers, while Carrie Coon impresses as Affleck’s twin sister. The most surprising member of the cast is probably Tyler Perry, the butt of so many jokes do to his race-pandering flicks that he pastes his name all over. Perry kills it as the appropriately confident expensive lawyer
Like so many of Fincher’s movies post-Fight Club, Gone Girl is a moody slow burn mystery free of a lot of the punk rock flavor of his earlier work. It is long and a bit of a chore to get through, but Fincher always has something up his sleeve to reward anyone with enough patience. Make no mistake, your patience will be tested. He rolls out the movie with confidence that the audience will be able to absorb the information never needing it to be over-explained. The whole movie kind of feels like a culmination of Fincher’s career. According to his movies, he seems fascinated with skeletons in closets analyzing relationships and the human condition through the lies that people keep. With Gone Girl, everyone has something to hide and everyone looks guilty. I think the only half-baked aspect was the media frenzy that always brands people guilty before the trial. It was more like Fincher was poking fun at it with the comical caricature of Nancy Grace than outright satirizing it.