One of the ten best films of 2014 – Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel ‘Gone Girl’ is told from the dual perspectives of missing wife Amy
Dunne and suspected murderer Nick Dunne. Both characters in the novel are written as
narcissistic, heartless, calculating monsters, with little sense of family, friendship, or community.
David Fincher’s 2014 movie adaptation of ‘Gone Girl’ is told in the same format, with the search
for Amy taking place while her discovered diary entries flashback to their marriage. Both
characters remain thoroughly unpleasant!
When Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find his house the apparent scene of a violent
struggle and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing, the police soon cast suspicion upon the
husband as the circumstantial evidence grows. The media quickly decides Nick is guilty as his
every movement is chronicled, scrutinised, and judged. Is Nick really guilty, or have events been
manipulated to look that way?
Director David Fincher (‘Fight Club’, ‘Zodiac’, ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’) keeps this bestseller
adaptation almost identical to the source material (barring minor details here and there), which
isn’t a bad thing as it’s a gripping, intriguing tale. Whether you like the film may be another
matter. Both Nick and Amy are economical with the truth, and while you’re unlikely to warm to
either much, you may well recognise elements of their relationship in your own life. It’s a bit like
accepting that not all women smell of roses and that many men really can’t help becoming that
lousy stereotype. Do these faults mean we should try and ‘improve’ our significant other? Well,
that’s one of many ideas the movie plays with.
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9/2/2021 One of the ten best films of 2014 – Gone Girl | Film Chronicles Movie Reviews News Interviews UK 3/5
‘Gone Girl’ is a modern relationship movie that should touch a popular nerve with audiences in
the same way that classic relationship thrillers like ‘Fatal Attraction’, ‘Kramer vs Kramer’, ‘ Eyes
Wide Shut’, ’The War of the Roses’, and ‘Revolutionary Road’ have done in the past. ‘Gone Girl’
holds a mirror up against what we want and expect from marriage in 2014, and some of the
conversations couples have after the film might get heated. I don’t think this is a first-date movie.
Affleck and Pike are both excellent, and ‘Gone Girl’ possesses a punky attitude that very few
Hollywood movies would consider.

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