Film in review: “Gone Girl”

Allison Mueller

Elizabeth Pulanco/ Winonan

Based off of the novel by Gillian Flynn, the film “Gone Girl” provides the audience with a thriller that will remain etched in their mind for weeks.

As the movie develops, the audience is absorbed by the toxic love story of Nick and Amy Dunne.

When Nick Dunne first met his wife Amy, it was almost too good to be true. She was a rich girl from New York, and he was a small town guy from Missouri. They both fell for each other fast. Once they were married, their love continued to grow. And then, a recession hit.

Both of them lost their jobs, and, to make matters worse, Nick’s mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer. The Dunne’s decided to leave New York City to take care of his mother and create a new life in Nick’s hometown. Amy soon finds herself trapped in a town she does not belong in.

After the death of Nick’s mother, the two continue their life in Missouri but find themselves turning into people they hate. Amy has become the nagging wife, and Nick has turned into the lazy, secretive husband. This leaves Amy still trapped in a small town and both of them trapped in a marriage they can no longer save. At the time of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick finds himself going for a walk to think about the marriage. Once he returns, Amy is missing.

As the search for his wife takes place, the audience gets a glimpse of Amy’s personal diary. We learn her hopes, her goals and her fear of her husband’s temper. As the search for Amy continues, the police, media and audience are given more questions than answers. There is only one question they continue to ask: “Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?”

With every twist and turn in the movie, the most consistent performance is of Ben Affleck, who portrays Nick Dunne. Affleck shines as a husband that is not only desperate to find his wife but also trying to prove his innocence. Affleck uses his good looks to charm the audience while still being able to come off as slimy and unlikeable.

Another great performance is by Carrie Coon, who provides the much-needed comic relief in the movie as Nick’s twin sister Margot.

Yet, the spotlight of this movie truly belongs to Rosamund Pike as the icy and judgmental Amy Dunne. Pike’s depiction of a woman being faced with disappointment continues to draw the audience in especially when she reaches her breaking point.

One more performance to note is by Neil Patrick Harris, who is wonderfully creepy as a former ex-boyfriend and stalker of Amy’s, who resurfaces after her disappearance.

The plot of film has a nice flow and gradually builds to keep the audience on their toes. Audience member Jana Mason found the plot to be a highlight of the film.

“Very cool plot. You never knew what was going to happen next,” Mason said.

Director David Fincher, whose work includes films such as “Fight Club” and “The Social Network” uses the actors and the camera to enhance the plot and honor the original work of the book. Also, author Flynn wrote the screenplay, which helped the film stay true to the book.

Although there are many points of the film that were fast paced and energetic, at over two and a half hours, the film was quite lengthy. Moviegoer Joey Van Antwerp agreed.

“The movie was very interesting, but it was way too long,” Van Antwerp said.

Some would argue the length of the movie was necessary to establish the different relationships of the characters and the several events that led to Amy’s disappearance. By the end of the movie, the film has taken many different turns.

When the movie started, it unfolded into a wonderful romantic drama. As the film continued, it turned into a gripping mystery hard to ignore. This film causes the audience not only to ask the characters questions but also to question themselves.

Time and time again, the film showed what lengths people will go to protect love and themselves.