Gone Girl, dir. David Fincher (2014)
Fincher’s auteurism continues to expand in the way of shrewd adaptations—his last two, The Social Network (2010) and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), were brooding, brilliant, intense dramas, and all around critically lauded films. They could be described as crazy good, and that couldn’t be truer for Gone Girl; in fact it is the zenith of insanity. And in every aspect of filmmaking, it is phenomenal. Gillian Flynn, in adapting her own novel for the screenplay, implements a pedantic narration between past and present, between two opposing characters, and between subjectivity and objectivity. It’s a chaotic propulsion that moves these characters forward at such a precise pace and with such enigmatic force.
It goes without saying that the filmis bolstered by a tremendous cast. Rosamund Pike plays Amy Dunne, the Gone Girl in question, with such deliberate nuance and clarity—like Fincher’s previous leads, Jesse Eisenberg and Rooney Mara, Pike could reap substantial nominations come awards season. But she is also supported by a no less impressive performance by Ben Affleck, as Nick Dunne, the man under suspicion for the disappearance of his wife. Beyond that simple tagline, Gone Girl remains a film that needs to be seen.
And what this story is, is by and large a satirization of the media’s crime coverage—our obscene obsession with sensationalized narratives of victims and aggressors, death and tragedy—but perhaps an even larger satirization of the notion of marriage and commitment (or lack thereof). It is by some accounts, a deeply disturbing black comedy about how far we might go to survive our quote unquote commitment, which might instead, truly be sociopathic and psychopathic. In a twisted way, Gone Girl elicits laughter, but also grimaces and gasps.
Gone Girl is undoubtedly another masterpiece by Fincher and company. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are back to score, Trish Summerville on costume design, and Jeff Cronenweth oversees cinematography; a team of artists that have solidified a distinct style, a confluence of colours, sounds, and fabrics which mesh so well and punctuate the mood and breathe life into the characters on screen. Reznor and Ross have orchestrated yet another soundtrack that builds palpable tension and accompanies the narrative structure so well, as to be integral to the storytelling. The same could be said for Summerville’s polished clothing choices and the transformative nature of the makeup.
Gone Girl is an enthralling, dizzying two and a half hours. Gone Girl like Fincher’s previous efforts, is impossibly cinematic.