A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
It was recently announced in an opinion piece that David Fincher was my favourite director. I admire his works, drool over his meticulousness and simply respect every single moment within his masterpieces from the first frame. Sure, he’s had his misses, but in my mind, nothing will discredit the filmmaking genius that is David Fincher, especially after he has directed the best film of 2014.
Where to begin on “Gone Girl”…
Witnessing the filmic labyrinth constructed out of what appeared to be a relatively simplistic narrative unfold on the opening night with some close friends in an incredible theatre made for what I personally regard as a perfect evening. The film is so deep, emotionally scattered and painstakingly uncomfortable – plot discussion demands to be kept at a minimal level, as not to ruin anything for anyone thinking of witnessing some on-screen mastery.
On their 5-year anniversary, writer Nick Dunne returns home after a morning out to find his wife missing and clear signs of a violent act having taken place.
When an intense investigation commences and the media get involved, Nick finds himself being played and falling into traps, especially after focus is turned onto him. That’s as detailed as I will dare be – no more.
Based on the novel of the same name written Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl” seems to have been written for the big screen, the transition is perfect!
There have been things said about the film diverting ever so slightly from the book, but having not read the novel, I cannot confirm how great a diversion it is. Nevertheless, this is a powerhouse mystery thriller. From the first frame, there is one description of “Gone Girl” that I feel best summarises the experience; inescapably arresting.
This film is so uncontrollably uncomfortable throughout the entire runtime, and it had every opportunity not to be.
It was the braveness and genius of Fincher to go the extra mile and then drive 10 miles more, to take the leap and then leap twice as far and to bite the entire magazine of bullets contained within the gun that is filmic risk taking.
One thing is for sure, it didn’t backfire in the slightest.
The performances are world class, and that is a term I don’t often use when describing actors. Ben Affleck is at career-best form, impressing us once again with his skills as an actor even after he shocked us with his directing abilities. This man has come a long way in his career, earning endless respect from not just me, but film fans everywhere.
The performance of Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne is indescribably good. Her character is so complex and explored in such intricate detail, words cannot justify how well she adapted and portrayed Nick’s elaborate and complicated wife.
There are two surprise packages that have emerged from “Gone Girl”. Neil Patrick Harris, commonly known as Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother”, gives the audience something truly special. This man is an incredibly gifted actor who displays some painfully but mesmerisingly convoluted emotions, adding so much to the character of Desi Collings, whose story is fascinating enough as it is.
The other complete shock is how fantastic Tyler Perry was! For a man I have commonly associated with awful “Madea” comedies, Perry is nothing short of sensational, he almost steals the show. The sad thing for him is that there is just too much perfection on show that nobody is really capable of stealing the show.
Needless to say, I was jaw-droppingly impressed by these two performances.
There are films that focus on the media, gender, perception and speculation being released on a regular basis, but none cover each of these themes in such detail and so cleverly as “Gone Girl”. Continuing on with what makes the film so uncomfortable is the way in which the narrative twists, turns and never stays still.
This in turn affects the audience’s connection between characters and makes the obvious statements regarding how media can skew the general public’s view of an individual.
There is a parallel between when criminal becomes celebrity which is not only brilliantly exhausting to watch unfold, but so incredibly relevant for a modern day society.
The film says a lot about upbringing, influence, gender perception, manipulation and love, whilst being Fincher-ly dark, shockingly enthralling and strangely humorous at times, it really has it all.
So, in case you needed reminding, “Gone Girl” has overtaken “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and is now my favourite film of 2014 thus far. There are some exciting pictures on their way that could still trump David Fincher’s latest piece of mastery, but I dare say that it is going to take something truly incredible.
David Fincher is a filmmaking mastermind and “Gone Girl” cements his status as the modern day master of suspense. There has not been a film that deserves to be seen more from 2014 than “Gone Girl”, do the right thing and experience it for yourself!
Just like the poster, you won’t know what you’re missing until it’s…