Plot summary (from the studio): GONE GIRL – directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn – unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?
Warning: MAJOR spoilers below!
- I was pleased to see that Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay for this film, as it meant I was likely in for a faithful adaptation from the book. That turned out to be the case, so I pretty much knew and understood what was happening at every story beat.
- I couldn’t help viewing Ben Affleck as Ben Affleck rather than Nick Dunne. Given the recent news of his impending divorce and all the unsubstantiated rumors about alleged infidelity and even drug use, seeing him spout those cliches about Amy made me think of what he might say to Jennifer Garner IRL. Of course this made his character 1000 times more smarmy and disgusting, which added to my viewing pleasure!
- Despite the 2.5 hour running time, the movie (just like the book) cruised right along for me. There are very few slow spots, and those that do come up pass quickly enough that I didn’t even need to take a break. Yes, I finished Gone Girl in a single sitting.
- I was really impressed with Rosamund Pike’s performance. When I first learned she was cast as Amy, I was a bit disappointed because I’d never heard of her before and was hoping for someone more well known. But damned if she didn’t have the perfect blend of looks, charm, and crazy for Amy. I believed in her demented motives every step of the way — which was NOT the case when I read the book and had to rely on my own imagination for fuzzy images of what Amy might look like.
- The film didn’t do a good enough job of painting Desi as unhinged, IMO. In the book, it was quite clear that Amy got much more of a challenge than she bargained for when she went to stay with Desi. She needed him, yes, but he got crazy possessive — to the point where even the sociopathic Amy felt endangered. In the movie, I didn’t quite come away with that feeling. It just seemed like Amy viewed killing him as a convenient way to bring her story full circle rather than as a means of true escape.
- The Go character wasn’t any better or more tolerable on screen than she was in the book. Didn’t like either version.
- Why did Amy go home after killing Desi and “escaping”??? According to her story, she had been kidnapped and held captive for nearly a month. Upon killing her captor and escaping (while drenched in blood, no less), wouldn’t it make more sense to go to a police station or hospital? Or even just to a gas station to have the clerk call for help?? This part didn’t work for me at all.
I could probably drive myself crazy nitpicking the plot for holes and inconsistencies — and maybe I would if the story was weak on entertainment value. But I had previously enjoyed the book and knew what was coming, so I just sat back for this one and savored the ride. In that light, I give Gone Girl 4 stars out of 5.