I have to admit, I was a little unsure about going to Gone Girl. The preview just made it look like it revealed everything, and if it didn’t, I was going to be mightily annoyed if it all ended up being a dream or some other twee twist.
But based on a glowing review on one of my favourite podcasts, Kermode and Mayo’s film Review show on BBC Radio 5 (or is that BBC Radio 5 Live?), I was persuaded to give it a try, and off to the Lighthouse Cuba I went to get the session with the best time, considering the film is around two and a half hours long.
And I can’t say that time didn’t drag a little. I was a little worried as the film progressed that it was dragging its heels a little, and so I looked a bit nervously at the time to ensure I would catch the train I had anticipated.
But despite that, the film was actually rather amazing. Ben Affleck is brilliantly cast as the roguish husband who may have killed his wife. He has an easy charm that lends itself to a man who is a bit narcissistic, has a lazy smile that you can see would be charming to the ladies and a bit sleazy at the same time, and is more involved in thanking those who are helping him in the search than getting all tangled up in grief over her disappearance. Likewise, Rosamund Pike as Amy is beautiful but a bit cold and stand offish as their history is relived through her diary. And the rest of the cast is outstanding as well, though it is really Affleck who holds the film together.
If you have read the book then you know the outcome and I will not go into it here, as part of the fun is discovering things along the way. Suffice to say the twists and turns are all very exciting and engrossing and the entire audience was all very chatty about it afterwards.
Overall, I realised I had thoroughly enjoyed myself in the end by the fact I too was running through what had occurred, trying to find loopholes, trying to find things I could disagree with. In particular, the way the media in the film picks up on the disappearance and then turns on Affleck’s character has been identified as being critical of today’s real-life media and news services, with their uninformed “experts” and the power of major and minor TV presenters to sway opinion by presenting a particular point of view. This is all in the trailer, so I am really not giving spoilers away on that point.
But in case I do reveal more than I should, I will wrap this up quickly – unlike the film itself.
Verdict: David Fincher has made an excitingly nerve wracking thriller that brings out amazing performances from Affleck, Pike and the whole Gone Girl cast. I laughed, I was angry, I was deceived… I enjoyed it immensely. 9 ties out of 10.