December 27, 2014

Gone Girl

David Fincher, 2014
Adapted from the popular book written by Gillian Flynn, the film is about husband Nick Dunne (Ben Afflect), suspected of murdering his missing wife Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike).

Fincher sets the tone early in the film with his distinctive style. A starkness, Reznor's ambient score echoing in the background. A low grade tension is present. When we are introduced to Affleck's character, he is already a man of questionable morals. Affleck seems to always be just tolerable enough in front of the camera in terms of his range when it comes to his acting abilities. He's never going to be a energetic force. Fincher seems to get the most out of Affleck with the Nick character, always making you feel suspicious of him. Gone Girl is largely a meditation on America's obsession with killer culture and celebritizing the monsters. We live in a culture where actual wife killers like Scott Peterson get a plethora of media attention. Men like Peterson, or Charles Manson, go on to receive love letters while sitting on death row. We also live in a culture where questionable suspects are tried and convicted by the court of public opinion before actually having set foot in an actual courtroom. These themes are at play, but it's not simply a straight-up satirical piece like Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. It's a blood-soaked mind-game that looks at relationships and the roles we play. The head games some are forced to engage in. The way the people around us look at us, judge us. The conclusions we jump to with such conviction. If the film were in other hands, it probably wouldn't have worked out so well. And although by the conclusion it feels like the film had multiple endings already, Fincher manages to keep everything in control.

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