Gone Girl (2014)

Director: David Fincher
Writers: Gillian Flynn (screenplay), Gillian Flynn (novel)
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris

Running Time: 149 mins.

They were the perfect couple Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike), much in love and wealthy, then their writing careers tanked and financial troubles took hold.  Forced to move to a small town in Missouri, we find that five years into their “perfect” marriage, the relationship is fraught with issues, the biggest of which is Amy’s mysterious disappearance on the day of their fifth anniversary.  

The public quickly becomes aware of the disappearance; volunteers across town search for Amy; candlelight vigils are held; Nick and Amy’s parents hold press conferences and rally support; the story goes national and true to today’s tabloid journalism and cable news form, Nick sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may have killed her.  The townspeople do a quick about face and turn on him and the stakes escalate to the point that Nick is soon going to face murder charges even as the body of the victim is nowhere to be found.

Writer Gillian Flynn examines their marriage as a series of truths and fictions, compromises and lies, complexities that ask who are we really. It’s a psychological roller coaster ride where the motives of each character pull us in many different directions as the mystery behind her disappearance plays out.

Affleck and Pike get to play a full spectrum of emotions in their Jekyll and Hyde characters and do it well. The performances are well played all around.  Missi Pyle as the crazed jump-to-conclusion cable news host is as irritating as CNN’s real Nancy Grace so kudos to her.  I thought the film was too long and I was bored and indifferent particularly for the first one-third or more of the film.  

Lotta says:  I cringed at the thought of writing this because I am quite aloof to this film.  Despite the terrific performances I just didn’t care enough for either character to worry about what was happening to them or how their futures would pan out if at all.   Do you have to actually like a character to like a film? No, but I think you have to like something about a character.   I never got completely sucked into their separate realities on any level, not even as a voyeur looking at a horrific road accident.  Perhaps it was the illogic surrounding the characters’ motivations!