A film, food, travel & lifestyle blog by Sophie Elizabeth

12 October 2014

Film Review: Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014) ★★★★

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On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, failed writer-turned-bar owner, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), returns home to his stunning suburban home to find his wife (Rosamund Pike) has vanished. With some signs of a struggle and a disrupted break-in, the police are called sparking a world-wide media frenzy in which Nick finds himself in the centre. His awkward behaviour and unemotional responses to reporters soon land him as the lead suspect in his wife's possible murder and the target of media scrum.

David Fincher, master of gritty thrillers, is back with this stomach-flipping drama based on the novel,  of the same name, by Gillian Flynn who provides the screenplay. Gone Girl opens with a beautifully shot, yet brushed over titles and a weirdly framed shot of the back of Amy's (Pike) head. Nick narrates over, pondering "What are you thinking?" "What have we done to each other?" as Fincher sets the dynamic of long-term relationships in a film which is a battle of the sexes, just one of the two engines driving his adaptation of the novel. In many ways, the ideologies are married are looked upon as abduction in themselves as both Nick and Amy feel they have lost their identities in each other. The early days of their relationship seem based on a false representation, both of them giving a false image of themselves in order to be perceived a certain way by the other. What Gone Girl does is then go on to explore the extremes humans will got to, to ensure the love of another or the lengths we will go to, to deceive.

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The second engine is the film's depiction of the media. In several scenes, Nick goes from a doting husband of "Amazing Amy" (the daughter of famous writers who use Amy as the subject of the books by the same name) to being accused of being an adulterous murderer in a matter of days. Like all David Fincher films, there is an underlying message amongst the narrative and Gone Girl makes note of Fincher's negative opinions of the media and it's need to stalk and destroy its prey. Highlighted also is the media's ability to ignore blatant evidence and details which can alter a story entirely; particularly when you look at theories and evidence from 9/11, the disappearance of Madeliene McCann and deaths of celebrities - all details which the headlines brushe over on a daily basis in order to create its own stories and sob stories to sell to the masses. 

It is so easy to see why Fincher took such an interest in Flynn's screenplay as it follows a similar vibe as seen in previous Fincher classics such as Fight Club (1999), Se7en (1995) and Zodiac (2007), dark, sadistic and utterly thrilling. Gone Girl flips between narrators, sometimes putting Nick's thoughts at the centre and putting Amy's at the forefront in other scenes. This gives the film a perfect balance of perspective and ultimately enforcing the totally dysfunctional and sadist mind of both characters as the story develops. In many ways this is a milestone for Affleck's career as we see him in a new light. Jumping from a sociopath, to victim, to witty romantic, this is nothing like we have seen him in previously. As for Rosamund Pike, her mesmerising performance as an abused housewife, mental bitch and beloved American-sweetheart all in one, provides her with an entire portfolio in the space of one movie. Not forgetting a slightly under-utlised Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry who adds a perfect level of comedic relief without taking anything away from the drama.

And so then, this verdict was bias from the start. Stylished, twisted and utterly perverse, Gone Girl is another home run for David Fincher - it is dark, smart and dangerous and its commitment to the story and moral repugnance will leaving you reeling on the edge of your seat. Gone Girl gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 stars, good luck as we enter Oscar season.



  1. I loved it. I thought the soundtrack was also amazing. The characters were exactly how I imagined them which made it perfect.


  2. I don't know why, but to me Gone Girl didn't feel like a Fincher film...it didn't feel like his stamp was on it. Don't get me wrong, I thought the film was OK but I felt it lacked as well. The soundtrack was very good though, and Ben Affleck was great. I'm a big fan of his, so it's good to see him in a meaty role he clearly understood and could relate tox


  3. Lovely post! I want to see this so badly it looks amazing! Abi :)

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  5. I loveed this movie! Ben Affleck brought his A game!



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