Review: Going, going, gone girl

Alex Nye

“Gone Girl” is not the traditional date night movie, but this chilling film adaptation about a terrifying marriage will leave you with some lingering uncertainties of the person you’re sharing your popcorn with.

Directed by David Fincher, “Gone Girl” is adapted from Gillian Flynn’s 2012 best-selling novel of the same title.

In typical Fincher fashion, he bumps up the tension and drama and captures the unfolding thriller in a feverishly dreamy lens.

The film centers on the dicey marriage of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy Elliot Dunne (Rosamund Pike) on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, the day of Amy’s mysterious disappearance.

Set to the backdrop of a recession fueled America, both Amy and Nick have recently lost their jobs as writers/journalists in New York and are forced to move to poverty stricken Missouri to aid Nick’s dying mother.

Flynn has prior knowledge in the world of journalism. Before writing “Gone Girl,” she was a writer and critic for Entertainment Weekly and has two other novels that were also best-sellers.

The film opens up, just as the book does, with Nick wanting to crack open his wife’s skull. Nick’s internal dialogue and Amy’s journals set the tone for the rest of the film: an ugly look at humanity.

When Nick returns home from the bar he owns with his sister Margo, on the day of his anniversary, he finds his front door ajar, signs of struggle in the living room and a missing wife. Nick quickly becomes the number one suspect as rumors begin to surface of infidelity and a marriage on the fringe.

Flynn did a fantastic job making both Amy and Nick unreliable narrators in the book and I was interested in seeing how well Fincher would capture this in the movie.

He masterfully executed this dynamic in the film version leaving viewers unsure on who to trust through the first half.

The cast is rounded out by Neil Patrick Harris, who does a great job in the role of Amy’s stalker boyfriend from her adolescence, and Tyler Perry, who plays Nick’s morally flawed lawyer.

Perry’s character seeks out husbands who are accused of killing their wife to make a profit off of representing them, but Perry’s performance makes you forget about that and leaves you falling in love with his character.

With any psychological thriller, the movie needs a chilling score. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross deepen the nightmarish feel of the film with their tension heavy music.

Pike’s ability to channel Amy’s character, down to her piercing gaze and little remorse, makes for a breakthrough performance. I think we will be seeing a lot more of Pike in the near future.

Affleck and Pike throw punch after punch at one another and the results are a blood bath. The actors throw it all against the wall and what sticks is an incredible performance by the both of them. Their chemistry is felt through the screen and brings human qualities to a dim world.

With dynamic performances by an all-star cast and a well written story by Flynn, this movie will leave you with lingering thoughts and plenty of questions that you may never be able to answer.

Just as the movie starts, it closes with Nick staring at his wife’s skull as she lays on his chest with the closing line,  “What   have   we done   to   each   other?  What  will   we do?”