Gone Girl features killer performances, strong narrative

Photo courtesy of Gone Girl

David Fincher’s highly-anticipated film Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn’s New York Times Bestselling novel, premiered this weekend.

The film follows husband and wife Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) from the day of their fifth anniversary, on which Nick discovers that his wife is missing. In the wake of her disappearance, law enforcement and the media turn against him while trying to find the missing woman, but it quickly becomes clear that something’s deeply wrong.

This much can be gleaned from the trailer, but the narrative’s crucial strength is the quick and heavy pace coupled with its blinding twists and turns. It’s nothing if not unpredictable.

As one with some knowledge of Fincher’s previous films might guess, this is not a charming movie about a happy marriage, nor is it a romance. “Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?” Affleck asks, hinting from the first scene that all is not well in this psychological thriller.

Both Affleck and Pike deliver strong performances, though Pike steals the show with her enigmatic, driven delivery. Even down to a subtly chilling performance from Neil Patrick Harris, the casting of the movie was impeccable, and it’s no small wonder with Fincher heading the film. His characteristic minimalist style was in tune with the script, written by Flynn herself.

Joining Fincher for the third time, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross scored the film with alternately warm orchestral melodies and herald-like synth pulses, both discordant and in sync with the tone.

The most remarkable aspect about the film, however, is its ability to provoke a reaction from the audience. Even those who’ve read the book were both startled and engaged by the film’s intensity, pace and brutally contradictory aesthetic.

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To contact Lifestyles editor John Connor Coulston, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com

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