Big Screen :: Gone Girl
October 8th 2014
It’s tough to review Gone Girl because so much of what makes it interesting, inflammatory, horrible and kind of great, is really a spoiler. The only plot I’m going to tell you about is that a woman disappears, and her husband becomes a prime suspect. There’s a lot more to it than that though.
Gillian Flynn adapted her own novel for David Fincher to direct here. Gone Girl was one of those insanely popular airport reads for a while. It didn’t really look like my thing, but I read it because I wanted to see what Fincher was up to. That was probably a mistake, because this is a pretty strait up adaptation. Nothing much has been added or taken away, and a lot of the fun is watching where the plot goes. It’s really interesting that this is the work of a female writer, because a lot of people are going to have big big problems with the way women are portrayed. If it were a male writer people would scream. Or scream louder I guess, because I’m predicting people are going to scream anyway and I totally get it. Amy Dunne, the missing wife, is a very problematic character. I can’t dismiss the whole movie over her, though I think a lot of people will and I won’t blame them.
Truth be told I thought it was kinda a trashy fun movie. Ben Affleck is genius casting as the guy whose very flawed relationship is suddenly the centre of a media storm – he’s got a bit of experience with that. Rosamund Pike is likewise excellent as Amy. There’s also this bonkers supporting cast full of people like Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris.
I’ll give anything Fincher makes a watch, even though his last attempt at adapting an airport novel with problematic things to say about gender roles, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, bored me stiff. He is having a lot more fun here with a frankly much better written film. I couldn’t help wanting a bit more out of him though. Dragon Tattoo, House of Cards and now Gone Girl are all pretty predictable choices for a guy like him, and he doesn’t seem all that challenged. It would be nice to see him push himself a bit more I guess. I’m not going to complain too much though, because I still enjoyed Gone Girl a lot.
Read more Big Screen reviews from Sam Clark
Get ‘Big Screen’ Podcasts