Gillian Flynn’s 2012 best-seller has made it onto the big screen in the best way possible with the help of David Fincher giving his direction to this story of one fucked up marriage. Any worry that the movie would stray away from the book vanished after Flynn wrote the screenplay herself, and it’s a very strong movie because of it. What makes both the book and film work are how the twists and turns are revealed, and the pacing of these events.
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are great here, especially Pike. This role could have been a mess in the hands of somebody else, instead she plays it perfectly. And while Affleck continues to get shit for everything he does, even after winning a best picture Oscar for Argo, there’s little doubt that Affleck is one of the best leading men in today’s movies. His role is perfectly disconnected, frustrating, and confusing. Once again, this could have been a mess if handed off to someone else.
But there’s some miscasting here too. Having Tyler Perry as Affleck’s defense lawyer is mildly distracting, even though Perry has once again shown that he can act. But the real issue here is Neal Patrick Harris. There’s something off with his role. While it’s interesting to see Harris play someone with dark motives, it takes the viewer out of the film.
Since this is a David Fincher film, it’s a very well put together film that has some very precise direction. But I can’t help but see Gone Girl as the beginning of a problem for Fincher. After already doing two emotionally disconnected films adapted from books (The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Gone Girl looks like Fincher getting stuck in a rut. While does a great job, and he’s perfect for directing it, Fincher’s failure to add in humor (yes, there’s humor here, but god, it’s so forced) hurts his movies. Yes, Gone Girl a dark film, and these people are disconnected, mean and manipulative, but it’s almost too much at times. Almost.
Gone Girl keeps fucking with the audience all the way until the end, and it works. Even though part of me is convinced that this is nothing more than a very great Lifetime movie, it’s still a very good film that keeps being interesting throughout it’s two and half hour runtime.
Rating: 8 out of 10.