- on Friday, 03 October 2014 15:11
- by Frank Wilkins
Former high-powered New York couple Amy and Nick Dunne – she a well-to-do trust fund baby, he a former magazine journalist – are now struggling to make ends meet in the recession-riddled Midwest. On his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick (Ben Affleck) arrives home to find the front door ajar, his cat on the loose, and his wife (Rosamund Pike) missing. The only clues are a broken coffee table, an overturned ottoman, and a few tiny specks of blood.
Naturally, the husband becomes suspect number one. But Nick, who owns a bar with his twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon) in the small fictitious Missouri town of Carthage, seems an unlikely candidate to have committed the murder. We quickly rally to his side even as he becomes mired in a fog of suspicious behavior. Meanwhile, Amy becomes the celebrated darling of a media frenzy as her nation-wide search garners national media attention.
That’s the narrative for Gone Girl, David Fincher’s thrilling screen version of Gillian Flynn’s wildly popular novel of the same name that became a bestselling must-read a few years back. Flynn adapts her own story to the big screen and word has it that, save for a few differences here and there for purposes of brevity, it’s a fairly faithful adaptation. The story, heavy on suspense, gives us a not-so-pleasant look at the seamy underbelly of marital bliss while Fincher’s camera, once again, steeps the proceedings in his signature sinister look and tone.
The story unfolds with the first few days of Amy’s disappearance intercut by scenes of Amy narrating from her diary entries, as she reminisces about the early years of their marriage. They met at a party and quickly became a couple so obnoxiously perfect, Amy says she wants to “punch us in the face.” But over the span of the subsequent years their marriage began a downward spiral that culminated in Amy’s disappearance.
Meanwhile, more and more evidence continues to point suspicion towards Nick who remains under the watchful eyes of detectives Boney (Kim Dickens) and Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) who, without a body, are unable arrest their suspect. In her diary, Amy reveals that she bought a gun for protection from her husband whom she described as having “come undone” since their marriage. It’s not looking good for ol’ Nick but he steadfastly maintains his innocence while at the same time hiring go-to defense lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry). Each day that Amy remains missing allows more and more evidence to pile up against her husband. But then things begin to get very interesting in Fincher’s twisty, turny, blood-soaked mystery that will stay on your mind for days to come.
There’s an interestingly sardonic undercurrent to Flynn’s story that weasels its way into the proceedings while bringing the story a modern-day relevance as a pitch-perfect satire on today’s media. News trucks set up shop outside Nick’s home as the investigation becomes talk show fodder to stuff the agendas of cable news programs. The dark humor is never lost on an audience growing tired of our current 24/7 media climate.
Affleck handles his Nick with a perfect blend of disgust and likability. We’re instantly drawn to his charm and vulnerability but we cringe with disgust at the horrible crime of which he’s accused. Amy will likely be Pike’s breakout mainstream role. She has shown hints of her acting intelligence in previous roles, but this is her juiciest to date, and as she sinks into her sexed-up hothouse flower Amy, we never know what she’s going to do next.
It will pay to know as little as possible about Gone Girl before going in as its dark secrets and unseen twists are so central to the story’s meaning. But even those who’ve already enjoyed Flynn’s novel will be entertained by Fincher’s bleak tone and drippy atmospheric storytelling about the many nuances of marriage.
MPAA Rating: R for a scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language.
Runtime: 149 mins
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Gillian Flynn
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Genre: Thriller | Mystery
Tagline: Was Nick Dunne lying?
Memorable Movie Quote: "All I'm trying to do is be nice. To the people who are volunteering in finding Amy.
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site: http://www.gonegirlmovie.com/
Release Date: October 3, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No details available.
Synopsis: With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.
Available on Blu-ray - January 13, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Slovak, Turkish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps); French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps); Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1; Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Turkish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy
Region Encoding: Region-free
Gone Girl comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound. Shot digitally this film looks superb on and features glossy high definition video quality that exhibits high level detail, razor sharpness and exquisite definition that brings out lifelike textures captured by the camera’s lens. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. There is light, and unobtrusive sepia tone that adorns much of the film. This is intentional and in keeping with the filmmaker’s vision. Colors are appreciably delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the remaining spectrum of secondary hues. This movie is pristine and reference quality presentation that looks terrific at home.
- David Fincher provides an excellent commentary, thoughtful and full of insight.
Considering its box office and status as, for the most part, a critical darling, it’s surprising to note the lack of extras, other than a commentary from Fincher. A collectible “Amazing Amy: Tattle Tale” book accompanies the set, but this is cutesy fluff. Perhaps once the cultural saturation of the titles has been completed (i.e., after the Oscars), we’ll see future versions with more rigorous detail.