A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
With the synopsis sounding more or less like that of “Prisoners”, it’s fair to say that there was a lot of anticipation and excitement leading up to the viewing of Ben Affleck’s directorial debut “Gone Baby Gone”. Two young girls are reported missing in the city of Boston, and the story follows two detectives searching for those girls and pursuing those responsible.
It’s not technically Affleck’s directorial debut; 1993 brought us “I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung on a Meathook, and Now I Have a Three Picture Deal at Disney”, a short film that earned a solid 4.6/10 on iMDB…enough said.
The story is a good one; the mystery surrounding captured youths and the race against time to find and save them before they’re found face down in a lake is undoubtedly a gripping one. This potential was unfortunately not executed in “Gone Baby Gone”; the acting was highly questionable, the cast was unconnected in several ways and the dialogue was nothing short of gratuitous.
The protagonist Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) has the personality of a tree stump and is proof that nepotism rarely pays off. (It usually helps to have a lead that possesses talent of any sort when making a serious film.) He didn’t look like a detective, it wasn’t clear that he was a detective and his character is severely unlikeable in so many ways.
What was taken from “Gone Baby Gone” was that the twists were expected but barely delivered, the dialogue was overdone and unnecessary at most points, and the abduction mystery story needs time, effort and a solid cast to make it believable and respectable; “Gone Baby Gone” made some wrong choices, primarily in casting.
The only correct casting move was that of Morgan Freeman. The man can be cast in anything, never failing to impress, which leads to mentioning one of few highlights from “Gone Baby Gone” being Freeman’s performance; a dramatic change from his standard “good guy” character, or as recent films suggest, his “Godly” personage.
It’s understandable why some appreciate “Gone Baby Gone”; it has moments of tension when the protagonists face moral dilemmas or during the reasonably intense moments of conflict, and it possesses some undertones that add depth to the screenplay; however execution was the film’s downfall. With such potential, it could have and should have included more substance.
Overall “Gone Baby Gone” was a let down, the hype and hopefulness did not deliver and was ultimately disappointing; while Casey Affleck was incredibly frustrating. Lucky for Ben Affleck, “The Town” and “Argo” were brilliant; but I guess you have to start somewhere.
Recommended by: Tim Malseed