Gone Girl (18) review
I’ve written plenty of film reviews over the past six months – but Gone Girl is perhaps the one I’ve spent the most time wracking my brain over.
That’s because it would be very easy to give the game away – and I certainly don’t want to be the one to ruin David Fincher’s masterpiece for you.
It’d be like telling you Darth Vader was Luke Sykwalker’s dad before you saw The Empire Strikes Back, or revealing a certain something about Bruce Willis if you haven’t seen the Sixth Sense (even now I’m not going to spoil that one).
Yep, I hate spoilers. And to reveal too much about Gone Girl would be to deny you the best possible experience ahead of one of the year’s simply must-see films.
So here goes: Gone Girl is the big screen adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s thriller novel.
And it all revolves around one key question… did Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) kill his beautiful wife Amy?
On the day of the pair’s fifth wedding anniversary, Amy (the amazing Rosamund Pike) goes missing.
There are signs of foul play at their house and Nick has no choice but to report it to the police.
Amy and Nick are one of those couples that most people would envy. They are wealthy (albeit hit by the recession), good looking and live in a pretty sweet pad.
But as he’s questioned by the police, something just doesn’t seem right. Nick doesn’t know the basic things most of us know about our loved ones – and at times doesn’t seem too worried by her disappearance.
With a media frenzy brewing and more odd behaviour uncovered, the finger slowly begins to point towards Nick, who is on the fast-track to becoming America’s most hated man.
Amy’s side of things are told from her extensive diary, with the film jumping backward and forward in time seamlessly.
It’s absolutely gripping stuff – and that’s about all I can willingly reveal about the storyline.
But I’m more than happy to analyse what I saw, as Gone Girl is one of the very best thrillers I can remember watching.
Affleck is expertly cast as Nick. Outside of the film, he’s a figure that usually divides opinion. Be it his amazing turn in Argo or his shocker in Daredevil, I suppose he’s considered a bit like marmite (especially after being recently cast as Batman).
While I’m firmly on ‘team Affleck’, his divisiveness is exactly what is called for here – and he delivers one of his best-ever performances.
Even he is surpassed by Pike, though. She’s absolutely mesmerising as Amy and manages to be seductive, unhinged, vulnerable and downright conniving in equal measure.
She’s had big roles before, but I expect this showing to move her up to the very top of most director’s wanted list.
Their relationship is a complex one, with the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage a deep underlying issue throughout.
I also enjoyed the jabs the film delivered at the more knee-jerk media outlets and awful reality TV culture that is more and more evident in modern society. One newsreader in particular (played by Ellen Abbott) is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with that genre of “news”.
There’s a pretty sizeable undercard of talent in Gone Girl, too.
Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) is excellent as Nick’s twin sister Margo and gets plenty of screen time.
There’s a really good cameo from Tyler Perry as Nick’s smooth-talking lawyer Tanner Bolt too, while Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers) also impresses as Amy’s deluded former lover Desi Collings.
The only negative I can offer you is that the ending felt a little sudden. Gone Girl is a long film at 145 minutes, but even then it felt like it ended too soon.
I maybe didn’t get the closure I needed, but that’s forgivable when the rest of the film is absolutely top drawer (and bound by the parameters of the book).
Rating 5/5 (Watched at West End Cinema, Boston)
Showtimes at West End Cinema, Boston
(October 10 to October 16)
**ONE DIRECTION: WHERE WE ARE
2pm (Sat/Sun), 6.30pm (Sat)
**TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 3D (12A)
10am (Sat/Sun), 2.50pm (Sat/Sun)
**TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2D (12A)
2pm (Fri/Weds), 2.15pm (Sat/Sun), 4.15pm (daily), 6.30pm (daily), 8.45pm (daily)
**THE MAZE RUNNER (12A)
12.15pm (Sat/Sun), 1.45pm (Fri/Weds), 2.45pm (Sat/Sun), 6.15pm (daily), 8.45pm (daily)
**THE REWRITE (12A)
2pm (Fri/Weds), 4.15pm (daily), 6.30pm (daily), 8.45pm (daily)
DRACULA UNTOLD (15)
12.15pm (Weds), 2.20pm (Fri/Weds), 4.15pm (daily), 8.45pm (not Thurs)
THE EQUALIZER (15)
6pm (not Thurs)
GONE GIRL (18)
2.15pm (Fri/Weds), 5.15pm (daily), 8.15pm (daily)
DOLPHIN TALE 2 2D (U)
10am (Sat/Sun), noon (Sat/Sun), 4pm (not Sat/Sun)
THE BOXTROLLS 2D (PG)
10am (Sat/Sun), noon (Sat/Sun)
THE BOXTROLLS 3D (PG)
EARTH TO ECHO (PG)
DRACULA UNTOLD (15)
** Denotes free list suspended
Box office: 01205 363634