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Movie review 'Gone Girl': It’s engaging and twisted in ways you wouldn’t imagine

DECCAN CHRONICLE | LAKSHMI GOVINDRAJAN JAVERI
Published Oct 30, 2014, 7:09 pm IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 5:53 pm IST
The film is conceptually a combination of a lot of marriages around
A still from the film 'Gone Girl'.
 A still from the film 'Gone Girl'.
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry and Carrie Coon
Rating: Three stars

‘Gone Girl’ is not a true representative of marriage. But it certainly tells you how messed up marriage can make you, if you’re a twisted person to begin with. The movie largely follows the plot of the eponymous book it is based on with a few minor and occasionally pivotal changes.

Nick Dunne is sitting at the bar he co-owns with his sister Margo on his fifth wedding anniversary, when he receives a call from his neighbour alerting him about his mansion’s door being left ajar. He rushes home to find that his wife is missing and there is obvious sign of struggle that has left a glass table shattered. The police is called and soon a media and community circus ensues to find Amy. Amy’s parents are famous for writing the Amazing Amy series based on what they considered would’ve been the perfect version of the daughter. Needless to say, the media laps up the missing Amy saga and dissects it in ways that have become commonplace in the world of the media today. Meanwhile, Nick is the socially awkward husband who makes a series of unintentional bloopers including not knowing his wife’s best friend, and before he knows it, the needle of suspicion is firmly pointed at him. It doesn’t help that the police investigation reveals that the kitchen floor of his residence was cleared of a blood bath and Nick is arrested on charges of his wife’s murder. Did he murder the wife he started to loathe? What happened to the woman who painstakingly paid for her lazy and disinterested husband despite not getting much affection from him in return? How do two people who seem like the perfect couple disintegrate into an abyss of deceit, lies and double lives?

 

‘Gone Girl’ from the very first shot is not what it looks like. The technique of filmmaking is used to substantiate the theme about marriages — they really aren’t what they look like. Even the most well balanced couple struggles with power and responsibility. You want love, but at what cost? Do you rock the equilibrium of a marriage that nauseates you or do you live on in denial? If you live on in denial, isn’t that a kind of deceit? This movie is about Rosamund Pike. Every scene that she’s involved in is engaging and twisted and in a purely bizarre way, relatable. You feel sorry for Amy and then you think she’s asked for it. She pushes you in ways that a high strung but loving partner would.

Affleck works his expressionless face into the lazy, indifferent husband. He’s laidback and not as bright as his Ivy League educated wife, and is a combination of a lot of guys one would know. Married to a more accomplished wife who ends up, he does what a lot of people do in relationships — take his spouse for granted till the relationship reaches a point of no return.

There are crucial differences between the movie and the book. For instance, Amy’s fear of blood is intricately woven into this twisted plot and one wishes it wasn’t left out of the movie because it would’ve certainly added a more sinister dimension to the film. That David Fincher is at the helm of affairs meant that there would’ve been a more perverse approach to certain scenes in a way that only Fincher can pull off. And boy, does he deliver. Teaming up with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails for the third time, Atticus Ross and Reznor manage to cull out a cold, disturbing soundtrack with a rather superficial sense of security and with that, they reinforce how insincere an institution marriage can end up being. Just when you expect a scene to have a noir, heavy on bass score, Reznor-Ross surprise you with something upbeat and almost surreal. The background score is a big part of why you should watch the movie.

It’s engaging and twisted in ways you wouldn’t imagine but leaves you wishing that there were so much more to it. Gone Girl is conceptually a combination of a lot of marriages around but let it not deter you from the institution. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check under the pillow at night.

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